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Democratic lawmakers make final push for Medicaid expansion

Updated: May. 24, 2021 at 7:23 PM CDT
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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) - Another round in the battle over Medicaid expansion is set to take place on Tuesday.

Wisconsin could receive over $1 billion in savings through the federal government if the State Legislature approves Medicaid expansion.

Democratic State Representatives Jill Billings and Steve Doyle joined State Senator Brad Pfaff in La Crosse Monday to state their cases for expanding BadgerCare.

Billings is calling on Wisconsin to join the dozens of other states who have already approved Medicaid expansion.

“38 states have already taken Medicaid expansion dollars, Wisconsin should be one, and at no time has it seemed even more important for us to do it than this year,” Billings described.

Monday’s press conference took place at St. Clare Health Mission, whose executive director says the clinic’s patients would benefit greatly from the expansion.

“A lot of our folks are in that range, you’re talking about people making $8-$9 an-hour that are reliant on their own health coverage right now,” Executive Director Jason Larsen said. “Everyone that takes part in St. Clare Health Mission believes that basic health care is a human right and we all come together to deliver it.”

Medicaid expansion was originally part of Governor Evers’ two-year budget plan, but State Republicans removed the measure earlier this month.

Sen. Pfaff says the State needs to move beyond the partisan politics on the matter of Medicaid.

“Let’s recognize the fact that we have 91,000 residents that will be assisted by this, let’s also recognize the fact that these are our tax dollars,” Pfaff said.

If expansion passes, Evers plans to use more that $800 million of the federal money towards economic development projects across the state.

The State Legislature will consider Medicaid expansion during a special session on Tuesday.

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