FACT CHECK: Scott Walker’s Record On Health Care

Oct 09, 2014

SCOTT WALKER STATEMENT: Scott Walker just claimed he made the right choice to reject $2.4 billion in federal funds to expand Medicaid and provide crucial health care coverage for the neediest citizens in Wisconsin. 


  • Scott Walker’s ill-advised decision to kick more than 60,000 people off of BadgerCare caused 61% of those Wisconsinites to be priced out of healthcare.
  • Figures released by the Walker administration show more than 60%, or 38,000 people, did not buy federally-subsidized insurance through the federal exchange by the June deadline. [1]
  • 87,000 more of Wisconsin’s neediest citizens would have affordable, quality health insurance if Walker accepted the federal funds available for expansion. [2]
  • Not to mention, with the expansion  Wisconsin would gain real savings in other areas that would offset costs, notably lower costs for unpaid hospital care and 11,200 jobs desperately needed in Walker’s abysmal economy. [3]
  • Thanks to Scott Walker taxpayers were left on the hook for $30 million in the 2013-2015 budget which allocated funds to hospitals to augment increases in uncompensated care costs.  
  • According to the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the state could have saved $206 million in 2013-2015 by accepting the Medicaid expansion. The state would save $261 – $315 million in 2015-2017 by accepting the full Medicaid expansion program. [4] 
  • Republican governors in other states have accepted the federal expansion, including Chris Christie in New Jersey, Jan Brewer in Arizona and Rick Snyder in Michigan. Unlike Walker, those Republican governors understood what expanding Medicaid would do for the people of their state.

RESPONSE OF DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF WISCONSIN CHAIR MIKE TATE: “Scott Walker’s decision to reject expanding Medicaid and kick thousands of Wisconsinites from BadgerCare was a purely political move. Walker’s election year gimmicks have  serious consequences for Wisconsin’s bottom-line and for real people whose needs aren’t being served.” 

[1] “More than 60 percent of the people who lost state Medicaid coverage earlier this year did not purchase private insurance through the online marketplace, according to official data released Wednesday.” (Most who lost Medicaid didn’t go to insurance exchange, Associated Press, 7/17/14)

[2] “State Sen. Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse, requested the report. It said if Wisconsin expanded Medicaid coverage to levels suggested by the new federal health care law, 87,000 more people would be covered.” (New report: Medicaid expansion would save state $206M, WLUK-TV, 8/19/14)

[3] “For starters, the report says, 120,000 more Wisconsinites would have health insurance, 5,400 fewer would face catastrophic, out-of-pocket medical costs annually, and some 11,200 jobs would have been created in the state in the next three years.” (White House: Walker Medicaid decision hurting Wisconsinites, Appleton Post-Crescent, 6/2/14)

[4] “The non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau said if Walker had accepted the money it would have saved the state $206 million.” (New report: Medicaid expansion would save state $206M, WLUK-TV, 8/19/14)