Wisconsinites need the BadgerCare/Medicaid expansion program in Gov. Evers' budget.
Expansion would cover 2,792 additional residents in Rock County; 10% of residents in Rock County are uninsured and 15% are under-insured with high deductibles and high co-pays they cannot afford. Wisconsin should accept 1.6 billion federal tax dollars for BadgerCare/Medicaid expansion.
Our residents pay taxes to the federal government anyway. Wisconsinites do not receive the healthcare services they deserve for that money. People in other states are using the one billion dollars Wisconsinites might have used, if the state had accepted Medicaid expansion over the past eight years.
Federal money will allow Wisconsin to save and reinvest in other health care programs. 48 million dollars is needed to expand dental services for the working poor. 39.7 million dollars in savings would be used for county crisis intervention services. Poor pregnant women need good neonatal care for their children's future. Wisconsin has the highest racial disparities for healthcare in the nation. Savings from federal money would go a long way toward lowering black infant mortality rates and improving health care for black children and adults.
We could Increase reimbursement rates to keep medical professionals in our state. Wisconsin is just beginning to face a shortage in medical professionals across the spectrum, but this shortage will only deepen over time. Certified nursing assistants work a demanding job, but make only minimum wage.
It's time for us to use the common sense and compassion for which our residents are known. It's a no-brainer. Take the money!