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June 16, 2019

5/31/2019 9:40:00 AM
We need Medicaid expansion 37 other states fully expand Medicaid

Dear Editor:
Wisconsin has lost $1.6 billion since 2009 because we haven't accepted full Medicaid expansion. Wisconsin spends $3.5 billion on Medicaid annually. Wisconsin would dramatically decrease the amount we spend on health care by expanding Medicaid. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, before Minnesota expanded Medicaid in 2013, they typically spent $4.9 billion. Now Minnesota only spends $61 million because they took the expansion.
We all face health challenges at some point in our lives. We'll need to access oral healthcare, address an addiction in the family or find long-term care for a loved one or ourselves as we age. That's why, according to a recent Marquette Law School poll, 70% of Wisconsinites support Medicaid expansion. Some issues are so paramount they surpass partisanship. Medicaid expansion is one of them.
Another issue that brings people together is water. We have never been so divided politically, but important issues like water unite all of us.
Neighbors and strangers stand together for clean water, despite the choice of political yard signs. We've seen enough "divide and conquer" politics. It gives hope to see people unite around important issues like keeping our water clean.
Medicaid expansion is another chance for neighbors and strangers to pull together right now to do what's best for everyone. It may not be your contaminated well water, your school district's referendum, your house in the flood plain or your child without health care. But we are one community. We care about one another.
Making the right choices doesn't have to depend on political affiliation. After all, everyone pays taxes. Each tax dollar isn't put into separate pots for Republicans, Democrats or Independents. The money we paid into federal and state programs belong to all of us. We can't let politics get in the way for doing what's right.
Contact your legislators today. Call the members on the Joint Finance Committee, who are reviewing the budget and making crucial decisions that will affect each of us. Tell them to stop prioritizing their own political ambitions and jeopardizing health care access. Demand we come together to accept our Medicaid expansion money now.
Members are:
Senator Darling (Co-Chair) [1] (608) 266-5830
Representative Nygren (Co-Chair) [2] (608) 266-2343
Representative Loudenbeck (Vice-Chair) [3](608) 266-9967 or (888)
Senator Olsen (Vice-Chair) [4] (608) 266-0751
Senator Tiffany [5] (608) 266-2509
Senator Marklein [6] (608) 266-0703
Senator Stroebel [7] (608) 266-7513
Senator LeMahieu [8] (608) 266-2056
Senator Erpenbach [9] (608) 266-6670
Senator Johnson [10] (608)240-9629
Representative Born [11] (608) 266-2540 (888) 534-0039
Representative Rohrkaste [12] (608) 266-5719 (888) 534-0055
Representative Terry Katsma (608) 266-0656 (888) 529-0026
Representative Zimmerman [13] (608) 266-1526 (888) 529-0030
Representative C. Taylor [14] (608) 266-5342
Representative Goyke [15] (608) 266-0645
Pallas Brabant

Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Article comment by: Nancy Dodge

Wisconsin has the chance to benefit in so many ways by expanding Medicaid. Tens of thousands of our residents would have their health care covered, allowing them to receive needed care in clinics instead of emergency rooms and preventing far more serious, and costly, illnesses. The rest of us would not be seeing our insurance rates rise in order to pay for emergency care. Rural health care systems, including hospitals, dental clinics, and mental health facilities, would get a needed infusion of cash.

Refusing federal money to expand Medicaid doesn't make financial sense for our state. Wisconsin would receive $2 billion over two years, freeing up state funds for programs we all value, such as education and infrastructure.

A majority of Wisconsinites support expanding Medicaid, but it is blocked in the legislature. Please contact your state senators and representatives and urge them to vote for expanding Medicaid. It is the right move financially and morally, and it should be an easy decision.

Nancy Dodge
Westport, WI

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