The legislature’s decision not to fully embrace Medicaid expansion, which would haveassured sustained health care for more than 85,000 low-income Wisconsinites who might otherwise be without coverage, is a failure to recognize the critical challenges Wisconsin families face when it comes to health care.
In addition, the legislature has punted the issue of Family Care expansion further down the road for the seven northeastern counties – Brown, Door, Kewaunee, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto, and Shawano – who are ready to join in. This cost-effective program reduces the demand for more expensive nursing home and other institutional alternatives, while allowing people to safely remain in their homes and communities for as long as possible.
“AARP has worked throughout the budget process to educate legislators on both the health and financial impacts of Family Care and Medicaid expansion for Wisconsinites age 50+. Unfortunately, this budget is both penny foolish and pound foolish in its approach to ensuring a strong health care safety net for those most vulnerable in our state.” says Helen Marks Dicks, State Issues Advocacy Director for AARP WI.
So what’s the silver lining? Wisconsin can still accept Medcaid expansion at anytime, therefore the fight for quality affordable health care will continue.