Legislators Pay More to Get Less: The High Cost of Refusing Medicaid Expansion

Source: Wisconsin Budget Project

Source: Wisconsin Budget Project

The High Cost of Legislators’ Resistance to Expanding BadgerCare

The Medicaid budget approved by the legislature this week will cost state tax taxpayers far more than the budget recommended by the governor, yet will accomplish far less to improve access to health care. Ideological opposition to expanding Medicaid is costing Wisconsin a lot of money.

The legislature’s budget reduces total Medicaid spending from all sources by almost $1 billion, compared to the governor’s budget. Even though it adds more than $320 million of state general purpose revenue (state tax dollars) to the Medicaid increase proposed by the Governor, the legislature’s budget captures almost $1.3 billion less from federal matching funds.