Make it Make Sense: Not Expanding BadgerCare

Who says “no” to a billion dollars? Worse, money that would be spent to keep the citizens that elected you safer in their local communities? Wisconsin legislators recently rejected Gov. Evers’ proposal to use $1.6 billion in federal funding for local infrastructure projects in addition to expanding health coverage for Medicaid aka BadgerCare.

Yup, you heard that right. The partisan games in the Legislature are more childish than ever. Lawmakers don’t want to increase income eligibility for BadgerCare from $12,880/year to $17,774/year. It’s like when a baby keeps spitting out its food–this will only benefit you, little one!

If we were to let just 95,000 more Wisconsinites get on BadgerCare, we would receive $1.6 billion in funding. That’s in addition to the money we would receive to run the program! We’ve already missed out on $2.8 billion from rejecting the Medicaid expansion in the first place.

Did I mention we are only 1 of 12 states that have not taken advantage of the Medicaid expansion? Or that 70% of Wisconsinites are in favor of it? It seems that legislators might be on their own here. Maybe in a fantasy land where Kings and Knights rule the landscape or MySpace still exists.

The money would also fund shared infrastructure, like roads.

Remember that if we take the current $1.6 billion it could go towards projects like:

  • Broadband expansion
  • Lead pipe replacement
  • Improving roads
  • Veteran Housing
  • Tourism
  • And one close to my heart – a $50m dollar loan to the cooperative trying to buy the closed Paper Mill in Wisconsin Rapids

It appears that politicians can’t seem to agree that potholeless roads or clean drinking water should be ensured through free money from the government. Maybe we should mandate horses and carriages to replace cars on the road while we are at it?

27% of Wisconsin’s public roads are in disrepair and cost state drivers $637 per year. 430k people in rural areas also lack access to high-speed internet. About 400,000 Wisconsinites lack health insurance per year.

A billion dollars is waiting at our doorstep to put 95,000 people living pretty close to the poverty line on BadgerCare. It will also ensure you can drive to Culver’s without a flat tire.

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