Nearly four years of Scott Walker's fiscal irresponsibility has real, harmful consequences on the people of Wisconsin. Yesterday, state and federal data revealed that 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.
The figures released yesterday 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.
Now, not only are fewer people insured, but Walker's mismanagement is costing the state big time. This month, the Department of Health Services reported a shortfall of $93 million in state tax dollars for the state’s Medicaid fund – a staggering 458% increase over the agency’s previously estimated shortfall. Accepting the expansion would have saved $119 million in this budget - a figure large enough to erase the huge shortfall facing the Medicaid budget now.
Just this month, the White House issued a 40-page report outlining the harmful effects of Walker's folly. 120,000 more of Wisconsin's neediest citizens would have affordable, quality health insurance if Walker accepted the federal funds available for expansion. In addition, 5,400 fewer people in the state would face crushing, out-of-pocket medical bills each year.
The expansion offered to Wisconsin clearly would have helped make sure people from Ashland to Platteville had access to quality, affordable health insurance - and it would have real economic benefits for the state.
The White House report notes 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.
"The figures released yesterday by Scott Walker's administration are embarrassing and could have been completely avoided if Walker simply followed the lead of other Republican governors like Chris Christie in New Jersey or Rick Snyder in Michigan in accepting the federal Medicaid expansion," Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Thursday. "Walker's decision was, and still is, all about Scott Walker and his political future. Wisconsin deserves better; we need someone committed to bringing affordable healthcare access to all corners of the state."