AP NEWS

The Latest: Democrats blast Medicaid report as biased

February 19, 2019

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on Medicaid expansion report (all times local):

1:15 p.m.

Democrats and health care advocates are dismissing as unreliable a new report saying Medicaid expansion in Wisconsin would shift $600 million a year to the private insurance market.

Republican lawmakers praised the study, saying it bolsters their argument against Medicaid expansion in Wisconsin.

The study comes from the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty and the Center for Research on the Wisconsin Economy, housed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

ABC for Health attorney Bobby Peterson calls the research “half-baked and half a loaf” that “pushes a political agenda and not serious debate.”

Citizen Action of Wisconsin director Robert Kraig says national research has established that “Medicaid expansion increases access to health care for working people struggling to get ahead while also reducing the cost of private health insurance.”

Democratic legislative leaders also discounted the report.

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11:10 a.m.

Republican lawmakers say a new study bolsters their position against Wisconsin accepting federal Medicaid expansion.

The conservative law firm Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty co-wrote the report along with the Center for Research on the Wisconsin Economy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The report released Tuesday determined that accepting federal Medicaid expansion would shift costs to people on private insurance at a cost of $600 million a year.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers plans to propose accepting federal money to expand Medicaid in his state budget. But Republicans who control the Legislature have long opposed such a move.

Republican Sen. Chris Kapenga says the report provides “hard numbers” to back up the argument he and others have been making against accepting expansion. He joined three other Republicans at a news conference to release the report.