The Affordable Care Act, signed into law in March 2010, contained an enormously important provision that would expand Medicaid eligibility to adults with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. Wisconsin is one of only 14 states that have turned down the infusion of hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds to support that expansion. Former Gov. Scott Walker first rejected the federal Medicaid expansion in 2014, a move that has cost state government more than $1 billion, according to the Legislature's budget office.

Currently, Republican leaders in Wisconsin plan to strip the renewed Medicaid expansion proposal from Gov. Tony Evers’ budget. Gov. Evers counters that he will “fight like hell” to keep the Medicaid expansion in the budget in order to free up $320 million in state funding over two years to allow investment in other state programs and needs.

A Marquette University Law School poll conducted just last month found that 70 percent of Wisconsinites support the Medicaid expansion and the acceptance of federal funds, which would mean health coverage for about 80,000 more people and a savings of hundreds of millions of dollars. Clearly, Republican leaders attempting to defeat the Medicaid expansion are not listening to the people of Wisconsin.

Please help Gov. Evers by contacting your state legislators and letting them know that the Medicaid expansion will be good for Wisconsin by reducing the uninsured rate, increasing available state funds, and producing jobs in the health care sector.

Marilyn Martin, Richland Center

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