Democratic rep calls on Wisconsin governor to expand Medicaid

Democratic rep calls on Wisconsin governor to expand Medicaid
© Greg Nash

A Democratic congressman from Wisconsin is calling on Gov. Scott Walker (R) to expand the state’s Medicaid program, known as BadgerCare.

Rep. Ron KindRonald (Ron) James KindHouse passes concealed carry gun bill Congress barreling toward explosive immigration fight Protect Access to Cellular Transplant (PACT) Act would help Medicare patients with blood cancers MORE told Walker in a letter sent Tuesday that the failure by congressional Republicans to repeal ObamaCare should be a message that “the time for partisan attacks on the law has passed.”

“The Affordable Care Act is the law of the land,” Kind wrote.

If Wisconsin does not expand Medicaid, he warned that taxpayers could lose out on almost $1 billion in savings.

ADVERTISEMENT
“One of the most important things you can do as Governor of Wisconsin is to expand BadgerCare. For far too long, you have clung to false, partisan claims regarding BadgerCare expansion,” Kind wrote in his letter.

ObamaCare gives states the option to expand Medicaid coverage and receive enhanced federal funding to do so. The government covered 100 percent of the costs for the first three years, with payments falling to 95 percent this year and eventually dropping to 90 percent in 2020.

To date, 31 states and D.C. have expanded Medicaid coverage.

Medicaid was one the thorniest issues Republicans faced in the fight over an ObamaCare repeal, and the Senate’s bill was ultimately doomed by lawmakers who objected to the effect of the Medicaid provisions on their states.

Republicans argue that the expansion isn’t sustainable. States expanded Medicaid because they were being handed free money, and Republican lawmakers argue they won’t be able to afford the tab when the government stops covering all of the costs.

The House and Senate GOP ObamaCare repeal bills would have rolled back the enhanced federal funding, effectively ending Medicaid expansion.