An editorial in the La Crosse Tribune explains all the policy and people reasons why Gov. Walker should take additional federal funding available under Obamacare to expand Medicaid in Wisconsin.
This much also is clear. We will pay for the costs one way or another. Many of the possible participants are people working part-time jobs that offer no health insurance coverage. If we want to expand our workforce and grow jobs in Wisconsin, we need to make sure more people have access to medical coverage.
As Dr. Laurie Logan, a family practitioner at Mayo Clinic Health System-La Crosse said during a press conference Monday, postponing health care simply puts more people into the emergency room, which is the most expensive coverage.
We also know that if Walker does not accept the expansion, the state will continue to pay for 40 percent of the coverage (the feds pay the rest) for people already covered under various programs. And new figures released Tuesday by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau show Wisconsin could cover up to 175,000 additional people and save $66 million during the first three years.
The state’s cost for from 2016 through 2020 would be an additional $67 million, but Wisconsin would get $4.56 billion from the federal government. That’s a pretty good return on investment and one would hope — under Walker’s leadership — that the state’s economy will grow and the number of people needing Medicaid-funded programs would diminish.