Healthcare is a right, not a privilege—Wisconsin should absolutely accept the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. Every Wisconsin resident should have access to high-quality, affordable healthcare when they need it.
Our ongoing COVID-19 health crisis has shown yet again how important it is that every citizen has access to fair, affordable healthcare. Thousands of Wisconsinites have lost their jobs and thus their health insurance, and the Republican-led legislature has yet to author or sign on to any plan to alleviate this burden on Wisconsin’s uninsured families. They have a long history of opposing expanded healthcare.
In 2011 Representative Nygren co-authored two bills that would have allowed insurance companies to ignore state-mandated consumer protections that ensured coverage for a host of issues, including diabetes, autism, and cochlear implants for children: https://tinyurl.com/ya2cbrzg
More recently, Gov. Evers included Medicaid expansion in his budget last year, but the Republican majority in the Legislature stripped that provision from the spending plan. GOP leaders have since refused to take up a stand-alone Medicaid-expansion bill.
Accepting that Medicaid expansion would reduce Wisconsin’s uninsured population by 16%. (Full study here: https://tinyurl.com/y87hhfn9) Thousands of uninsured Wisconsinites could have insurance today if the GOP would start putting the Needs of our people before the Wants of their healthcare industry donors.
As an aside, the heathcare industry is a huge donor to Republican candidates. In the last election cycle, John Nygren alone received nearly $50,000 in donations from healthcare-related donors.
(For reference, the average Assembly race in Wisconsin costs around $34,000 total.)