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Low-wage workers need Medicaid -- Rachael Wortzel

Low-wage workers need Medicaid -- Rachael Wortzel

There has never been a time more pertinent than now to expand Medicaid in Wisconsin.

Despite multiple attempts to do so by Gov. Tony Evers, the Republican majority in the state Legislature has repeatedly expressed its lack of support for any expansion of what it consider to be welfare. Right now, in the middle of an international crisis, we need to support all Wisconsinites by making sure they are able to meet their basic need for health care.

Aside from giving thousands of people in the state access to needed medical care, economically it makes sense for Wisconsin because the federal government pays millions of dollars toward Medicaid in states that adopt Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. Republicans don’t want more people relying on the government to meet their basic needs. Yet with a state minimum wage of $7.25 per hour (which equates to about $15,000 in annual income for full-time employment), a single-person household is barely living above the federal poverty level of $12,760.

Because raising the minimum wage seems less surmountable than expanding Medicaid, the least lawmakers can do for minimum-wage earners is give them health insurance.

Rachael Wortzel, Madison

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