Wisconsin Republicans immediately end Medicaid expansion session

Lauren Jensik - Print  | 

A special session regarding Wisconsin Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act adjourned in less than a minute May 25 without debate or votes, according to Wisconsin Public Radio

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers signed an executive order last week to hold the session after the state's Republican-controlled Legislature voted to remove expansion plans from the 2022-23 budget proposal, the Kaiser Family Foundation said.

The expansion would extend Medicaid benefits to residents living under 138 percent of the federal poverty level — an additional 91,000 people. Currently, coverage only applies to Wisconsin residents living under 100 percent of the federal poverty level.

The state would receive $1 billion from the federal government as an expansion incentive.

"I think we should be doing everything we can to make sure our economy bounces back from this pandemic, and this special session was about finding common ground and getting bipartisan support for our efforts," Mr. Evers said in a statement to WPR. "Clearly, it's disappointing Republicans don't seem to take that responsibility seriously, and they'll have to explain to Wisconsinites why they made the decision they did today."

In a letter to Mr. Evers, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, both Republicans, said, "Expanding Medicaid as you have proposed is unneeded and even reckless in a state that has no coverage gap and has an effective reinsurance program."

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