Republican State Sen. Jerry Petrowski: “We should pursue the full expansion of Medicaid” in Wisconsin

On June 1 I noted Republican State Sen. Terry Moulton went public with his support for a Medicaid/BadgerCare expansion here in Wisconsin, and it appears Sen. Moulton isn’t the only Republican State Senator who publicly disagrees with Gov. Scott Walker’s decision to refuse an expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare that would be financed almost completely with federal funds. Gov. Walker’s refusal to accept federal funds to expand Medicaid will cost state taxpayers $119 million from 2013 to 2015, according to estimates by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau.

In the June 13-20 edition of the City Pages, Republican State Sen. Jerry Petrowski of the 29th Senate district made it clear that he believes the state should pursue the full expansion of Medicaid as part of our state’s implementation of Obamacare. Sen. Petrowski cited several reasons for his belief that the state should pursue the full expansion of Medicaid:

First, fewer people would be insured if we force the portion of population who fall between 100% and 133% of the federal poverty level into Obamacare. Many of these people won’t enroll leaving them uninsured. Taxpayers will still pay for the care of the uninsured people, but it will be poorer care and at the same time more expensive care often provided in the emergency room.

Second, Obamacare policies cost taxpayers more than Medicaid coverage for these very low income people because the government pays for about 98% of their premiums for Obamacare. Simply put, having these people covered under Obamacare is expected to cost taxpayers around $550 to $830 more per person than keeping them in Medicaid.

Third, Wisconsinites pay the same federal taxes as any other U.S. citizen, and it doesn’t make fiscal sense to refuse dollars coming back here. We end up paying for people in other states without receiving any benefit here. I don’t see any of this as fiscally conservative.

Here’s a copy of Sen. Petrowski’s comments in the June 13-20 edition of City Pages:

Click for full size

Click for full size

In addition to Sens. Moulton and Petrowski, the folks over at Citizen Action Wisconsin have identified four other Republican State Senators who have expressed their concerns about Gov. Walker’s decision to refuse federal funds to expand Medicaid here in Wisconsin, a decision that as I noted above is estimated will cost Wisconsin taxpayers $119 million over the next biennium.

When I think of Gov. Walker’s decision to refuse billions of dollars in federal funding for Medicaid expansion for our state, costing Wisconsin’s taxpayers $119 million, I’m reminded of the saying, “Pennywise and pound foolish.”

15 comments to Republican State Sen. Jerry Petrowski: “We should pursue the full expansion of Medicaid” in Wisconsin

  • John Casper

    About effing time!

    No one has any money. The damn grocery stores are struggling, because everyone’s afraid to spend.

    Capitalism is the laws of Supply and DEMAND. Since the oligarchs have all the money, DEMAND is collapsing.

       8 likes

  • This could set up an interesting battle in the full Wisconsin Legislature over Medicaid expansion in a scenario that is basically the exact reverse of what happened in Arizona. Instead of a pro-expansion Republican governor doing everything she could to convince enough members of her own party to side with Democrats to vote for Medicaid expansion, like what happened in Arizona, the pro-expansion state legislators in Wisconsin are trying to amend the state budget in opposition to an anti-expansion Republican governor.

       3 likes

  • Rochelle Galloway

    Great post. One correction. Your last sentence says Walker is refusing 119 million in federal dollars. He’s actually refusing BILLIONS in federal dollars. 119 million is what his refusal will COST Wisconsin tax payers.

    Good for Petrowski, Moulton, Schultz et, al. Let’s hope they can talk some sense into their GOP senate colleagues.

    Walker is a schmuck.

       5 likes

  • Duane12

    I question if the Republicans are employing a CYA tactic for their next election.

    Also, did these same Senators voice disagreement with Walker on rejecting expansion of AMTRAK which would have increased jobs?

    My skepticism is based on the fact that only one GOP senator has not been in a lock step with Walker.

       1 likes

  • Cat Kin

    Hopefully these rare Wisconsin Republican thinkers will connect a few more dots and realize that Walker’s decisions are never impacted with concern for Wisconsin citizens or even his Republican colleagues but for his effectiveness as a “tough decision Maker” on the national scene.

       3 likes

  • Sue

    He forgot the most important reason:
    People are going to die because of Walker’s decision. It’s not that people won’t enroll, they can’t. Walker is going to force people into a segment of Obamacare that was never intended for them and that they can’t afford, or if they could afford it, they can’t use it because the only thing they might be able to do is pay the premiums, not the eventual deductible if they ever have to use the insurance. It’s not even a case of deciding whether to eat or pay your insurance; paying the premium will still leave people outside looking in.
    I don’t see too many People Who Matter pointing out the casual cruelty in Walker’s plan.

       8 likes

    • Cat Kin

      More Obamaphobia, Sue Petrowski. The ACA is a work in progress that has been de-progressed by Republican paranoia. There are provisions for people who can’t pay anything or not enough. And these are subject to adjustment. Think of it like building a tactical weapon…these things have to be tested and adjusted, no matter how carefully planned. Repubs refuse to let ACA get to the testing stage with all the scary hyperbole. The US could be hit with an asteroid someday and it all may not matter. But we are preparing for that possibility and believe that it may be averted with careful preparation…Won’t you clodheads let us prepare this health care plan so we are able to make informed assessments?

         4 likes

  • Dan Leider

    Let’s see how Petrowski votes on the budget….his history is, saying one thing and sounding moderate, but voting another way….have you ever looked at his voting record since being in office….I wouldn’t trust this guy as far as I can spit.

       6 likes

  • Jim Valent

    Lets hope Wisconsin can garner more votes for ACA. With WI rated near the bottom of the job creation and economic forecast there too many who will either need this help or just decide to leave WI

       0 likes

    • Cat Kin

      You are right, Sue. The State should not reject the billions in aid that the federal government has proposed. No real reason to strain the resources of those in dire need of health benefits with a program that has not been fully tested. My point, however, is that, given a chance, The Affordable healthcare Act could lower healthcare costs for all as it is designed to do and keep costs from inflating at higher and higher rates. BadgerCare and other state health plans have not been able to control costs at any level. Please forgive the confusion.

         1 likes

  • Dan

    As a resident of the 86th Assembly and 29th Senate Districts, I just finished an email to both Representative Spiros and Senator Petrowski. I tied my emails into Senator Lassa’s interview on Wisconsin Public Television (http://video.wpt2.org/video/2365026664). Yes to Medicaid expansion, no to voucher schools. I also voiced my concern to the level of tax cuts and my concern in future years when there is another downward turn in the economy. I would encourage ANYONE who lives in an Assembly or Senate district represented by a Republican to please contact.

       4 likes

  • Elizabeth Riley

    Jerry Petrowski is pandering. He voted for the state-sanctioned rape of women seeking abortion. I would not trust him.

       4 likes

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