DHS Reports Establish Direct Impact of Medicaid Expansion on 31st Senate District  

MADISON – The Department of Health Services (DHS) recently released individual reports summarizing the impact that Medicaid expansion would have for each of Wisconsin’s 72 counties. These reports were released prior to today’s first Joint Finance Committee (JFC) Executive Session.

On February 28th, Governor Tony Evers (D) introduced his budget proposal, which included historic investments for the state. Among these, was the proposal to join 37 other states by expanding Medicaid to cover individuals with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level.

The bipartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau reported that Wisconsin would save $324.5 million and increase coverage to 82,000 low-income individuals by expanding Medicaid. By leveraging targeted state investments, Wisconsin will bring an additional $1.6 billion in federal health care funding.

The DHS reports outline what these savings mean for each individual county, including the 9 counties in the 31st Senate District: Buffalo, Chippewa, Dunn, Eau Claire, Jackson, Pepin, Pierce, St. Croix, and Trempealeau. Medicaid expansion would provide approximately $137 million in healthcare investments while expanding coverage to 4,746 individuals in these counties.

Two days ago, the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance released a report, by an independent actuarial firm, indicating that premiums in the individual market were 7 to 11 percent lower in the states that have already expanded Medicaid.

In response to the JFC Executive Session and the DHS reports, Senator Smith released the following statement:

“It’s more urgent than ever that we understand the value of expanding Medicaid. The Department of Health Services summaries establish the direct impact this expansion would have in supporting our western Wisconsin communities. These are critical investments toward telehealth services, rural dental care, substance abuse treatment, our caregivers and medical professionals, lead abatement, and more. We can’t afford to say no to these federal dollars.”