WASHINGTON- The American Health Care Act, which would repeal the Affordable Care Act, will, if passed, penalize states like Wisconsin which rejected federal investments into healthcare. Under the Affordable Care Act, every state in the country was given the opportunity to expand their healthcare programs with the help of federal dollars. Due to the efforts of Governor Walker and other Republicans leaders, Wisconsin did not fully expand its programs. Since the American Healthcare Act caps federal investments into Medicaid using figures from 2016, states which rejected federal funding will be locked into lower levels of federal aid.
Jason Stein at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:
The House bill would also cap federal money for state Medicaid programs and set the baseline for that by looking at programs as they stood in 2016 — a year in which other states’ expansion of Medicaid was in effect.
In 2016, the federal government spent about $785 for each person on Medicaid in non-expansion states but spent about $1,655 per person — or more than double the amount — in expansion states, the report found.
The co-chairs of the Wisconsin Legislature’s budget committee, Rep. John Nygren of Marinette and Sen. Alberta Darling of River Hills, want to see that gap narrow.
“This inequity should be addressed immediately, not phased out over a number of years,” the lawmakers wrote in a February letter to the state’s congressional delegation.
Under current law, Wisconsin could still start collecting more federal taxpayer money by accepting the full Medicaid expansion. But that wouldn’t be possible going forward if the House bill passes.
Read more at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.