The story has always been…Wisconsin spent far more for Medicaid than it should have…if it had taken the Affordable Care Acts expansion and the attached federal funds…it would have saved money. Governor Scott Walker and the GOP legislature didn’t do that…they put their own little expansion in place and we paid and paid for it…Wisconsin supposedly lost out on nearly a billion dollars over a ten year period…an amount that no one has denied.
Governor Evers made healthcare part of his platform during the 2018 gubernatorial race and made expanding Medicaid and taking the federal funds a keystone. And it is one of the reasons that he won the election. Now of course the Republicans still control the legislature and they are still saying no way.
So in support of the GOP position, we recently saw a new study released that said expanding Medicaid would actually cost private health care plans that similarly same amount of one billion dollars.
There are all kinds of questions about the validity of this study…the methodology used…the data points…the years…etc. You would think by now that real world experience with the program would give us some real world data but apparently….well you know….science.
But this all goes to the heart of my position. Whether the state government left one billion dollars on the table…or insurers would have to pay an additional one billion dollars…or both numbers are wrong…or both numbers are right…should be inconsequential.
IF we had put comprehensive universal single payer health care in place ten years ago…this would all be a moot point. There shouldn’t need to be all of this sturm and drang over unintended consequences or fiscal decisions. Everyone should have health care paid for…all of the time…for every medical issue they ever encounter. No pre-existing conditions…no caps…no lifetime coverage limits…no worrying about keeping kids on your policy. Open, transparent, healthcare coverage…why are we the only ‘civilized’ country still acting so completely…’uncivilized’?