The Latest: Wisconsin governor pushes back on Medicaid
The Associated Press
May 09, 2019 06:58 AM
Gov. Tony Evers speaks at a news conference regarding Medicaid expansion as Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, left, stands next to him, at Milwaukee City Hall, Thursday, May 2, 2019.
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP
Mike De Sisti
The Latest on Wisconsin budget (all times local):
Wisconsin’s Democratic Gov. Tony Evers is urging voters to pressure Republican lawmakers not to kill his Medicaid expansion plan.
The Republican-controlled budget committee was to vote Thursday on removing Medicaid expansion and a host of Evers’ other priorities from his two-year spending plan. The vote would kill those priorities for now, but they could be re-introduced later.
Evers tweeted Thursday that the vote means Republicans would “gut funding” to “help moms and babies, increase dental care services, improve long-term care, and much more.”
Evers wants to leverage federal money for Medicaid expansion to increase spending on other health care needs by $1.6 billion.
Republicans object to adding 82,000 people to Wisconsin’s Medicaid program and say it would disrupt the private insurance market. Republicans control the Legislature and can block anything Evers wants.
Wisconsin Republicans are preparing to scrap expanding Medicaid, legalizing medical marijuana, raising the minimum wage and a host of other priorities of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.
The vote Thursday in the Legislature’s budget committee comes as Republicans begin dismantling the Evers spending plan to create their own version to approve later this summer.
Evers and Democrats remain defiant, saying the public is on their side in support of expanding Medicaid. They ran on their promise to expand Medicaid and believe their victories in 2018 were due in large part to that position. Polls also show broad public support.
But Republican legislative leaders aren’t bending from their long-held opposition, even as some GOP lawmakers have publicly talked about trying to find a compromise.