At this moment, Gov. Tony Evers and the Legislature are working on the biennial budget. The Governor’s budget includes, among other things, accepting Medicaid expansion funds, also known as Badgercare, so that 80,000 more very low income individuals will have access to health care. This measure is right and worthy.
We need the funding to help families take care of themselves and to free up public funds to invest in other programs. Plus, it’s our money. Medicaid funding comes in part from payroll and other taxes that workers have already paid. Not surprisingly, the people of Wisconsin overwhelmingly support expanding Medicaid.
But if Senate majority leader Scott Fitzgerald and his colleagues have their way, this plan will be stripped from the state budget. Representatives Barbara Dittrich has joined the chorus against Medicaid expansion funding. Fitzgerald says it will increase the Federal deficit. Dittrich claims it is duplicative coverage. These scare tactics don’t hold up, and they detract from the real issue — that health coverage for more very low wage workers can be achieved without harm to the economy or the budget, yet the Republican lawmakers who control the Legislature are bent refusing to help people who need it most.
We won’t sit still for this. Contact your representative. Tell them that now is the time for Wisconsin to join with the majority of states and accept Medicaid expansion, for everyone’s benefit.