Republicans Demonstrate Fiscal Irresponsibility on State Budget
MADISON, WI - Republicans on the Joint Committee on Finance will be passing on another opportunity to save hundreds of millions of Wisconsin’s tax dollars that could be re-invested into programs around the state, and provide access to affordable health care for every Wisconsinite.
If Republicans continue to refuse the enhanced federal funding available in the Affordable Care Act, Wisconsin will be forced to spend state tax dollars to backfill what could have been funded through our federal tax dollars, essentially making us pay twice for the same services. Republicans claim they are looking out for the Wisconsin taxpayer, but their actions demonstrate just the opposite.
“Like many Wisconsinites, I look for deals and use coupons when I shop so I can save where I can and spend the savings on other necessities and priorities. We owe it to hardworking taxpayers to use state dollars effectively. Expanding Medicaid would save $324.5 million of our own money and allows us to invest the savings elsewhere,” said Senator Johnson, (D-Milwaukee).
Under the people’s budget, Governor Evers covers more people with less state money, while saving the sate $324.5 million and attracting $1.6 billion in federal monies. The Governor wisely invests those state savings back into vital health care programs such as preventing child lead poisoning, reducing youth tobacco use, addressing the opioid crisis, improving access to dental and mental health care, and increased funding for nursing homes and dementia care specialists.
“We have definitive proof that in the 29 states that have expanded Medicaid, there is a positive impact on financial well-being. Not only does it bring the cost of health insurance premiums down and prevent medical bankruptcies for individuals, but it also allows us to access pots of money we wouldn’t otherwise be able to—large sums of money,” said Senator Erpenbach, (D-West Point).
“Republicans are continuing to choose to follow their partisan marching orders rather than listening to the will of the people,” said Representative Taylor, (D-Madison). “The people are begging for health care investments in their communities, yet Republicans threw the one vehicle we had to fund all of the People’s priorities out of the window—Medicaid Expansion. They would rather not adequately fund K-12 special education and the UW System, effectively picking winners and losers when we could have done it all. Republicans continue to march our state right off of a cliff with their irresponsible fiscal ways.”
“Health care was the central issue in last year’s election. Republican candidates and incumbents around the state promised to improve access and affordability of health care, and today the Republicans have broken their promises. Expanding Medicaid would save state taxpayers twofold, and they are turning their backs on both expanding essential services and saving taxpayers money,” said Representative Goyke, (D-Milwaukee).
The Joint Committee on Finance is expected to take up the Department of Health Services budget in Executive Session today at 1pm.