On Tuesday, December 5th the Wisconsin Department of Health Services will be taking public comments on the state’s request for an extension of the BadgerCare demonstration waiver in Janesville. The department will be in the Regal Room of the Pontiac Convention Center from 10 am to 1 pm.
The Affordable Care Act and a subsequent court case allowed states to expand Medicaid eligibility to all adults under the age of 65 with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. In 2017 the federal poverty level for a family of 4 is $24,600.
“Eighteen other Republican Governors have accepted Medicaid Expansion. Wisconsin should become the nineteenth. Unfortunately, Governor Walker is putting his political ambitions before the health and wellbeing of 79,000 Wisconsin residents who would gain access to affordable healthcare coverage if we accepted the expansion,” said State Senator Janis Ringhand of Evansville.
Wisconsin needs the waiver extension to continue offering Medicaid coverage for adults between the ages of 19 and 64 without children and who have incomes at or below 100 percent of the federal poverty level.
“It’s just common sense to accept the expansion and cover more people and get more money back from the federal government,” stated Ringhand.
Had Governor Walker been willing to accept the Medicaid expansion as proposed by legislative Democrats in the 2017-19 State Budget we would have saved over $286 million over the course of the budget. To date Governor Walker’s decision not to expand Medicaid has cost the state over $1 billion, according to the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau.
“That’s money Wisconsin taxpayers have sent to the federal government and we are not getting back,” said Senator Ringhand who added that’s “a billion more dollars we could have used to fix our crumbling roads or invest in our public schools.”