Saturday, August 24th, 2019

When Medicaid expansion proponent goes Erp


Give them credit for persistence. Wisconsin Democrats will not give up the idea of taking the federal money to expand Medicaid no matter how much it actually costs. As I explain over at the MacIver Institute, this time it’s state Senator Jon Erpenbach – again.

Ever since Walker rejected the additional federal funding, Erpenbach has been trying to justify Democratic support for expanding Medicaid. In his latest op-ed, Erpenbach wrote, “Not taking federal funds does not mean that our tax dollars are squirreled away and saved for a rainy day by Congress. It just means they send our money to another state, to help them balance their budgets and help their citizens with health insurance.”

Actually, that’s not correct. Not taking the federal funds does not mean that the money goes to other states because the federal government doesn’t have the money to hand out. The federal debt is $19.2 trillion and in the 2015 fiscal year the federal deficit was $438 billion. If Wisconsin does not take the federal money, that is less money that is either being taxed from Wisconsin residents now or borrowed by the federal government for our children and grandchildren to pay back in higher taxes later.

So when Erpenbach wrote, “It simply is time to put more than $320 million in our coffers without raising taxes and without cuts,” it’s pretending that federal money just falls from the sky like manna from heaven.


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