12.15.15

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Statement on Governor Walker’s $1 Billion “Missed Opportunity”

Nonpartisan Wisconsin agency estimates taxpayers could have saved over $1 billion through BadgerCare expansion

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin released the following statement after Wisconsin’s nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) released updated projections outlining how the State of Wisconsin could have saved over $1 billion in taxpayer money over six years by accepting available federal dollars to expand Wisconsin’s BadgerCare program through the Affordable Care Act. According to LFB’s projections, about 83,000 additional Wisconsinites would gain coverage through full expansion of BadgerCare. 

“Today’s projections from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau are further proof of the missed opportunity by Governor Walker to strengthen Wisconsin’s BadgerCare program, a critical lifeline for many in our state. I have repeatedly called on Governor Walker to put politics aside and accept this federal investment, but instead he pursued a plan that terminated health care coverage for 63,000 Wisconsinites, created a coverage gap, and exposes Wisconsin taxpayers to higher costs while covering fewer people.

“At a time when Wisconsin Republicans are making devastating cuts to education and infrastructure, Governor Walker’s fiscally irresponsible path isn’t the ‘Wisconsin way,’ as he likes to call it. It’s the wrong way. Wisconsin families and taxpayers need more opportunities to improve their health and economic security during these difficult times. They don’t need elected officials putting their own personal, partisan politics first. It’s time to seize the opportunity to move health care reform forward and put progress for Wisconsin ahead of politics. That is the ‘Wisconsin way.’”

After Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker kicked almost 63,000 low-income parents off their BadgerCare coverage last year, Senator Baldwin called on the Obama Administration to establish a special enrollment period to help those without coverage find a plan within the Affordable Care Act Marketplace.

Across the nation, 30 states and the District of Columbia, have already accepted this investment to strengthen health security of their constituents.