Expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act in the last 15 states that have turned down federal aid for that purpose — including Wisconsin — could add 4.1 million people to the list of those who have healthcare coverage, according to a new study.
The Urban Institute report, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and released this week, calculated the benefits of accepting the federal subsidy to expand the Medicaid program in each of the holdout states.
Wisconsin would not see as large a drop in the number of uninsured people as other states, in part because the state already provides Medicaid for a large number of poor adults, although not at the income levels that the federally funded expansion would make possible.
All 15 of the non-Medicaid-expansion states together would see a 28% reduction in the number of uninsured people, while individual states would vary considerably. Alabama, for instance, would be able to cut its uninsured population by 43.1%, according to the study, and Mississippi by 39%.
Wisconsin, meanwhile, would reduce its uninsured population by 16% if it accepted the federal expansion funds. Gov. Tony Evers included Medicaid expansion in his first biennial budget last year, but the Republican majority in the Legislature stripped that provision from the spending plan. GOP leaders have since refused to take up a stand-alone Medicaid-expansion bill.