Walker Policy to Cost WI Taxpayers $1.07 Billion in Next Six Years

Madison – Wisconsin can do better for our citizens and taxpayers, was the message from Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) today as he renewed his call for Governor Walker to accept Wisconsin’s fair share of Federal funds for Medicaid. Erpenbach, a member of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, released a new memo from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau outlining the costs for Wisconsin taxpayers over the next six years because of Walker’s failure to act.


“First and foremost we are making low income people in this state pay more out of pocket for their health care which hurts our economy. Second we are taking taxpayer funds that could be used elsewhere and using them to backfill our state’s share of Medicaid costs just because Governor Walker does not want to take this Federal money, even though he will accept $21.3 billion in Federal funds this biennium to support the rest of his budget” said Senator Erpenbach. “We only need the will to change the law and accept these funds now. This has always been a great deal for Wisconsin.”


“By the end of 2021, Wisconsin taxpayers will have lost $1.07 billion dollars in general purpose revenue (GPR) if we continue Governor Walker’s policy of refusing to take the federal funds that belong to Wisconsin. That is just crazy given our transportation funding situation, the cuts our schools have faced, and the cuts to our UW System,” said Erpenbach.

Currently 31 states including the District of Columbia have accepted Federal Medicaid funds. There are four more states talking about taking the funds; those four states have Republican governors (LA, SD, UT, WY). As of the time of this release there are 13 states run by a Republican governor that have accepted the Federal funds (AR, IA, IL, MD, MI, ND, NJ, NV, OH, NM, AZ ,IN, MA). There are only 16 states, including Wisconsin that have not received the federally guaranteed funds for Medicaid expansion.


“On this day when thousands of families in Wisconsin will select their plan for the next year under the Affordable Care Act, we need a reminder that here in Wisconsin we are all paying more because Governor Walker has chosen his preference over the people of the State of Wisconsin. That is shortsighted and fiscally reckless.” said Erpenbach.


A full Medicaid expansion would result in GPR savings by substituting federal for state expenditures for currently enrolled childless adults.


LFB memo: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/senate/erpenbach/PressReleases/Documents/12-11-15%20MA%20Expansion%20Numbers.pdf