On Eve Of JFC Vote, Group Pushes For Medicaid Expansion
The legislature's Joint Finance Committee is likely Thursday to kill a recommendation by Governor Evers to expand Medicaid in Wisconsin. The federal government is offering money for states to expand health insurance for less well off Americans, which has been accepted in 37 states. Wisconsin is one of 13 that has not accepted the money.
Proponents, like the advocacy group Citizen Action of Wisconsin, say accepting it will cut costs and provide much broader coverage.
Citizen Action's Director Robert Kraig says the likely rejection has severe effects on public health and treatment according to a new report they published on opioid addiction..
"..Literally in a lot of the private health plans, the anti-opioid addiction drugs, medically-assisted treatment or MAT drugs are unaffordable..."
Kraig says not having access to the drug will likely result in more deaths. He says it's similar to people who need insulin to stay alive with diabetes.
Madison Democratic Representative Melissa Sergeant says support for expanding BadgerCare has been shown in the polls...
"...We know that by expanding BadgerCare in the state of Wisconsin, not only will we be saving money, not only will we be bringing money into our state that is currently not being brought into our state, we will be saving lives and increasing public safety..."
Candice Owley, President of Wisconsin Federation of Nurses & Health Professionals said she has seen the effects...
"...and to make clear that failure to expand BadgerCare is a death sentence for many in our state..."
Republican opponents say adding 82-thousand people to Medicaid would increase private insurance costs and expose Wisconsin to financials risks if the feds drop the reimbursement.
We have a link to the Citizen Action of Wisconsin report on opioids here.
We also have the media session with the group