While we defeated the ACA repeal efforts in Congress, the Trump administration continues its efforts to sabotage the ACA through new regulations. Moreover, a lawsuit working its way through the courts is threatening to overturn the entire ACA, or invalidate its protections for people with pre-existing conditions. As "Obamacare" continues to be threatened by Republican lawmakers at both the state and federal levels, we must continue to raise awareness of how Wisconsin women have won with the ACA and fight back attempts to reverse the advancements made to women's health over the past nine years.
There is a lot to get excited about in this budget. Our Policy Team has made their way through the nearly 600 page documents and here is out top 5 list:
BadgerCare Expansion: Governor Walker and the Republicans callously rejected federal funds available to Wisconsin under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This budget expands BadgerCare to cover an additional 83,000 Wisconsinites while saving taxpayers $834 million over the next 6 years. Because low-income, uninsured women and more likely to forego healthcare and preventative services because of costs, this is a necessity for Women in Wisconsin.
Healthy Women, Healthy Babies Initiative: Wisconsin’s infant mortality rates for African-American babies are the highest in the nation. This budget includes a $28 million investment to support healthier pregnancies and births, including funds to pilot a Medicaid doula reimbursement program.
Focus on Childcare: Finding affordable, quality child care is one of the biggest hurdles for getting and keeping a job. This is particularly true for women as primary care givers. This budget includes a $376.9 million increase in child care subsidies and focuses on economically disadvantages areas.
Repeal of harmful hurdles: This budget fixes some serious abuses of power that Walker and the Republicans jammed in the lame duck session. This budget restores the ability of our Attorney General to settle cases and eliminates the legislatures ability to intervene in lawsuits.
Local Preemption Repeal: This budget repeals the prohibition that prevents local government from passing paid family leave and other local initiatives. While we strongly believe paid family leave should be a statewide initiative, this repeal would allow local governments to lead the way until our legislature is willing to enact real change for all Wisconsin workers and families.
WAWH will be advocating for these and other important budget items that align with our vision: Every Wisconsin woman - at every age and every stage of life - is able to reach her optimal health, safety and economic security. These items must not be taken out of the budget.
What can you do?
Governor Evers Budget Prioritizes Real People Living Real Lives
Statement from Sara Finger, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health (WAWH):
“Last night, attending Governor’s Evers budget address with my 9-year-old daughter, I felt so proud to share with her such a kind and strong message of respect for the needs of real people. We have a Governor listening to what people need and tackling the tough issues long neglected.
“Governor Evers’ plan to expand BadgerCare is one of the most cost-effective ways our state can help families. There are people in every corner of our state that don’t have access to affordable healthcare. Governor Walker and the Republican-led legislature played a callous political game when they refused federal funds available under the ACA to expand BadgerCare. Governor Evers is providing a path where an estimated 83,000 Wisconsinites would gain access to health insurance coverage under BadgerCare.
“From doula reimbursement to infant mortality prevention to revitalizing the well woman program, this is a budget to be excited about. The Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health supports Governor Evers strong measures that shift the state focus to proactive solutions to improve the lives of women and girls in Wisconsin”.
Cecely Castillo, Policy Director