Rejecting an expansion of Medicaid
The Joint Finance Committee voted yesterday to reject increased funding from the federal government to pay for an expansion of Medicaid, instead opting for the Walker health care plan which ends the waiting lists for BadgerCare and covers 100% of those under the federal poverty line.
Over at the MacIver Institute yesterday, I explained why rejecting the Medicaid expansion is the best choice in the long term.
When the credit cards are maxed out, the roof is leaking and dad is out of work, that’s not the time the family plans a vacation to Hawaii. However, the federal government is currently promising the states a trip to Hawaii every year.
Wisconsin policy makers reject the Walker plan have a responsibility to recognize that the high reimbursement rates promised by the federal government cannot continue. If they reject the Walker plan, they will be stuck with the awful choices of increasing taxes on Wisconsin residents to meet an increased Medicaid commitment or pushing Wisconsin residents into the exchanges they did not like in the first place.
It wasn’t that long ago that Wisconsin was trying to figure out how to cut $600 million from the Medicare budget while waiting lists grew for BadgerCare. The governor’s plan is a rejection of Doyle-era budgeting and directly helps those who need state aid the most. It does not rely upon false promises from the federal government or the false promise of free money. Policy makers need to look beyond the short-term politics and towards the long-term fiscally responsible plan by Governor Scott Walker.