The Wisconsin State AFL-CIO joins a growing coalition of faith, labor, health care advocates, the Wisconsin Hospital Association and elected leaders in support of expanding BadgerCare with federal funds made available through the Affordable Care Act.
Gov. Walker has not yet to make a decision on accepting the funding to expand Medicaid coverage. His decision will affect over 146,000 Wisconsinites.
At a press conference Tuesday at the Capitol, Senator Jon Erpenbach and Representative Jon Richards joined with uninsured Wisconsinites from across the state to introduce the ‘Strengthen BadgerCare Act.’ This act would expand BadgerCare coverage to better meet the needs of 146,000 Wisconsinites who lack affordable health care and are denied access to BadgerCare.
“We hope that our elected leaders put the health of Wisconsin residents first and pass the Strengthen BadgerCare Act,” said Phil Neuenfeldt, President of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO. “Many of the people who fall through the cracks of BadgerCare are unemployed or low-wage workers who are still struggling in this economy through no fault of their own. When people can go to the doctor and get their families proper care when they fall ill, we all benefit as a society both economically and morally.”
“Filling in the holes of BadgerCare makes sense for Wisconsin,” said Stephanie Bloomingdale, Secretary-Treasurer of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO. “The Affordable Care Act provides federal funds to cover the cost of expanding the program and it is estimated that 10,000 new health care jobs will be generated by the influx of this funding. More people with health care and more jobs is a win-win for Wisconsin.”
Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid would be expanded to include people with household incomes below 138% of the federal poverty threshold - $15,414 for an individual this year - who are not eligible for coverage now.
In Wisconsin, this group mainly consists of adults who don't have children under 19.
The federal government would pay the full cost of expanding the Medicaid program through 2016, gradually declining to 90% in 2020 and thereafter.