As Scott Walker continues to campaign for president out-of-state, promoting his dishonest book, “Unintimidated,” Wisconsin Democrats continue to hold Walker accountable for his real record.
Wisconsin’s successful BadgerCare program, which was created by former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson and had the support of then-Representative Walker, has been a national model for affordable, accessible, and efficient healthcare. Instead of accepting federal funds to strengthen it, Scott Walker made a partisan, political choice to reject healthcare expansion and send Wisconsin tax dollars to other states.
· Based solely on partisan, political opposition to the Affordable Care Act, Scott Walker rejected $4.4 billion in federal funds to expand our successful BadgerCare program.
· Scott Walker’s plan for healthcare kicks more than 92,000 people, including some children, off their healthcare and costs the taxpayers $120 million more than if we had accepted federal funds.
· The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau also estimates that accepting Medicaid expansion would have created an additional 10,000 jobs in Wisconsin.
· The Walker plan will also force someone making as little as $12,000 per year to buy private insurance with copays and deductibles as much as $4,000 per year.
· Walker’s decision leaves Wisconsin alone in the Midwest in refusing to accept healthcare expansion funds. Even Republican governors in Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, and Indiana recognized that they could insure more people at a lower cost by expanding Medicaid.
· Many of these states are also seeing significantly lower healthcare costs on the federal exchanges.
· Health insurance premiums in Wisconsin can be anywhere from 79% to 99% higher than in Minnesota, a neighboring state similar geographically and demographically. Costs are especially higher for those living in major Wisconsin cities such as, Milwaukee, La Crosse, and Eau Claire. Some regions of the state have seen premiums as high as 136% more than the entire average of Minnesota’s healthcare costs.
· By accepting federal Medicaid funds, Wisconsin would have had the power to challenge extreme rates, meaning the opportunity to lower health insurance costs for those who need it most.
· Scott Walker completely defunded the state’s successful BadgerCare Family Planning Program, which currently provides cervical and breast cancer screening and access to birth control for 74,000 Wisconsin women.
· Walker, who has been an advocate for so-called “personhood” legislation that would outlaw common forms of birth control and fertility treatments, signed a bill that mandates intrusive, medically-unnecessary transvaginal ultrasounds for women seeking safe, legal abortions.
· Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin announced as a result of state funding cuts in Governor Walker’s last budget, they are closing the doors of their clinics in Shawano, Chippewa Falls, Johnson Creek, and Beaver Dam. The closure will eliminate critical services to 2,000 patients including lifesaving cancer screenings, breast exams, birth control, annual exams, pregnancy tests, STD testing and treatment, HIV screening, and referrals to a network of community resources. In all four communities, Planned Parenthood is the only reproductive healthcare provider for low-income women.
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