WILL Applauds Legislative Leaders for Rejecting Medicaid Expansion

Republican leadership puts interests of the state ahead of politics

The News: The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) applauds legislative leaders for their steadfast opposition to expanding government-run health insurance which would drastically increase costs for Wisconsinites and do little to improve healthcare outcomes.

On Wednesday, the Republican leadership in the state legislature announced that they would support a motion to remove 70 non-fiscal items from Governor Tony Evers’ budget proposal – such as damaging provisions that would freeze school choice and the repeal of Right to Work. This included an announcement that they would reject Governor Evers’ plan for Medicaid expansion.

WILL Executive Vice President CJ Szafir said, “Doing what’s right is not always easy. But by rejecting costly federal Medicaid expansion, the Republican legislative leadership is acting in the best interest of the state of Wisconsin and we applaud them for standing on principle.”

Next Thursday, the Joint Finance Committee will start voting on Governor Evers’ budget and WILL encourages the legislature to stand on principle and only enact policies that will make Wisconsin a freer, more prosperous state.

The Research: WILL’s study, The Impact of Medicaid Expansion: Examining the cost to consumers and the net impact on Wisconsin, concluded that Medicaid expansion in Wisconsin would result in increased costs to families with private insurance – as much as $700 per year for a family of four, resulting in a net cost to Wisconsin of more than $400 million. The study, by WILL Research Director Dr. Will Flanders, and Dr. Noah Williams, Director of CROWE and Professor of Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, reviewed data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia comparing private-sector health insurance costs and emergency room visits in states that expanded Medicaid eligibility and those that did not.

3 Reasons Why Medicaid Expansion Leads to Increased Costs:

  1. Wisconsin has no health insurance coverage gap. Those who would move to Medicaid already have access to subsidized health insurance.
  2. Medicaid reimbursement rates to healthcare providers are much lower than private health insurance. As a result, when people leave private health insurance for Medicaid, healthcare providers lose money on lower reimbursements. Likewise, an increase in use of more costly services like emergency room visits will drive up the cost of private healthcare.
  3. Healthcare providers will pass along these costs to consumers.

WILL’s research drew strong attacks from politicians and ivory towers all over the country. But their criticisms had significant shortcomings and, for some, highlighted the importance progressives place on expanding government-run health insurance.

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