On the heels of the Department of Health Services reporting a shortfall of $93 million in state tax dollars for the state’s Medicaid fund, the White House issued a 40-page report yesterday outlining the harmful consequences of Scott Walker’s decision to reject the federal Medicaid expansion.
According to the White House report, 120,000 more Wisconsinites would have quality health insurance if Walker accepted the federal funds for expansion. In addition, 5,400 fewer people in our state would face crushing, out-of-pocket medical bills each year.
More insured Wisconsinites would also spur preventative care. The report estimates 17,500 more residents would get cholesterol screening in the first year; 3,800 more would get mammograms, and 6,700 more would get pap smears.In addition, 29,000 more Wisconsinites would have a regular medical clinic and 16,000 more would report being in good, very good, or excellent health.
It’s clear the economic benefits of expansion would outweigh future costs for Wisconsin taxpayers, the report notes Wisconsin could realize savings in other areas that would offset costs, most notably lower costs for unpaid hospital care. Not to mention, 11,200 desperately needed jobs would have been created in our state in the next three years through the expansion.
Republican governors in other states, including Chris Christie in New Jersey, Jan Brewer in Arizona and Rick Snyder in Michigan understood what expanding Medicaid would do for the people of their state. Even as all the evidence points to accepting the Medicaid expansion being a no-brainer, Scott Walker stubbornly continues to put politics over compassion and pander to his extreme, far-right base.
“Despite Scott Walker’s political spin, we’ve known all along that accepting the Medicaid expansion was the best choice for the people of Wisconsin,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Wednesday. “Now the White House is making it clear that Walker’s spin only serves himself and hurts people all across the state. We need a governor more committed to the people of Wisconsin than his own political ambition.”