For several years, citizen groups in Wisconsin have been urging the GOP-controlled Wisconsin Legislature to accept billions of dollars in federal Medicaid funding.
They’re still asking for it.
The Citizen Action organization was in La Crosse on Tuesday, calling on government officials in Madison to take funds that most other states use to reduce the costs of medical care.
Robert Kraig, from Citizen Action, told reporters at a rally near Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse, that he hopes that Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers can sign a budget Republican lawmakers hand him, that includes accepting federal money.
Wisconsin is one of 10 states that hasn’t taken the federal dollars for Medicaid, costing taxpayers billions.
Republican leaders have turned it down, and Kraig believes the GOP is trying to show it still opposes the Affordable Care Act passed more than a decade ago.
In 2014, La Crosse County supported a referendum asking Wisconsin to accept Medicaid money. Ironically, a GOP local government funding plan that’s being hashed out alongside a budget, would strip local governments from being able to have nonbinding referendums like that.
Kraig also criticized GOP lawmakers for cutting some of Evers’ budget items out of the Republican version of the budget that could provide relief to people throughout Wisconsin.
“Last Tuesday, they stripped 545 items from the governor’s state budget, and one of them was Badgercare expansion, which is Wisconsin taking the Medicaid expansion money under the Affordable Care Act that’s made available by it,” Kraig told reporters at an event near Mayo in La Crosse.