Governor Tony Evers addressed nearly 1,000 health care advocates at his first WHA Advocacy Day on April 17, 2019. Evers’ remarks focused on his proposed state budget and the investments the Governor’s budget creates for health care in Wisconsin. WHA
President and CEO Eric Borgerding welcomed Evers by saying, “Governor Evers’ background is in public education, but you wouldn’t know that from his budget. [His budget] is one of the strongest for health care I’ve seen in years.”
Evers began his remarks by sharing how his budget came to be so strong for health care. Along with Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, Evers said he traveled the state and held listening sessions with Wisconsinites to listen to their concerns and priorities for the state budget. While on the road, they learned “clearly health care was a top priority.”
Evers called his budget a “watershed moment” for health care. “This budget proposes to increase hospital reimbursement by $367 million over the biennium,” said Evers. “Not only is it going to give better care to people, but it’s going to foster economic growth and stability to the state, supporting those critical community anchors.”
Evers continued, “The budget covers more individuals who lack insurance, will reduce uncompensated care costs, and help prevent medical bankruptcies.”
Governor Evers emphasized how his budget plans to reinvest all state savings from an enhanced federal match rate resulting from Medicaid expansion toward investments in health care in Wisconsin.
“This budget will generate an additional $324.5 million which will be reinvested back into the health care system, not going elsewhere,” Evers said.
Evers’ budget proposal, submitted to the Legislature at the end of February, is currently with the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance for changes before heading back to the Governor’s desk.