The latest Marquette Law School Poll showed 61 percent of voters believe Wisconsin should accept increased federal support to expand the Medicaid, or Badgercare, program to cover those just over the poverty line.
An expansion would reportedly provide 84,000 new Wisconsin residents with access to the program that already assists thousands in the state with health care coverage.
On Tuesday, Nov. 4, voters in 20 Wisconsin communities, including Milwaukee County and the city of Kenosha, will be asked whether state leaders should accept the federal funds.
“The results of today’s Marquette Law School poll continues to show a supermajority of voters believe Walker’s decision to turn away billions in federal funds for BadgerCare is wrong for Wisconsin,” said Robert Kraig, executive director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “A clear supermajority of voters oppose this disastrous decision and want the state to say yes to BadgerCare.”
Wisconsin Department of Health Services communications director Stephanie Smiley, however, said Walker believes that having more people depend on government-run Medicaid should not be the state’s goal.
“Rather, we want to help individuals and families living above poverty to remain in the private sector for their health insurance coverage,” she said. “The governor’s reforms are not based on obtaining short-term financial assistance for the state; they are based on ensuring that the safety net is there for the people who need it most. There is no gap in access to coverage—individuals have access to coverage that the federal government has deemed affordable—through the federal exchange or through the private health insurance market.”
She added that since April 1, for the first time in Wisconsin’s history, every person in poverty has had access to health care coverage under the same Medicaid benefits, with no limited benefit package, no waitlist and no enrollment cap.