Accepting available federal dollars for Wisconsin’s BadgerCare program would generate more than $1 billion in state taxpayer savings over the next six years according to updated projections from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB). The new estimates are welcome news for supporters of the proposed BadgerCare expansion who argue the savings are needed to restore recent school and infrastructure funding cuts.
“In an effort to boost Gov. (Scott) Walker’s right-wing credentials in his short-lived presidential campaign, Republican legislators decided to send millions of our tax dollars to other states across the country,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “It’s time to bring those dollars back home, expand access to health care and restore the cuts to our local schools.”
The report from the LFB shows that Wisconsin taxpayers would save $1.07 billion over the next six years if access to the state’s BadgerCare program is fully expanded through the Affordable Care Act. The state savings generated by accepting federal dollars could be used to restore recent Republican cuts to local schools, infrastructure projects and worker training programs.
“With declining family wages and a sharp rise in mass layoffs across Wisconsin, we need to do a better job of investing in our state and creating economic opportunities,” added Shilling. “Gov. Walker’s presidential campaign is over. Republican lawmakers are out of excuses for sending our tax dollars to other states instead of expanding health care access and improving outcomes here at home. It’s not too late to do the right thing and save Wisconsin taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.”