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Report: Huge WI Price Tag for Health Repeal

January 19, 2011

MADISON, Wis. - If Governor Scott Walker is successful in his quest to repeal the national health reform law, a new report says it will hit Wisconsin hard in the pocketbook.

The report, from the Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group (WISPIRG) says rolling back the law would pull billions in federal Medicaid dollars out of the state's economy, and terminate establishment or expansion of 81 community health centers. WISPIRG's Shannon Nelson says many businesses would be affected, as well.

"Over 86,000 small business owners in Wisconsin enjoy tax credits to help afford health care for their employees. If we were to roll back the law, of course, those tax credits would go away."

The governor says the federal health care law is a burden to business and believes the courts should repeal it. The WISPIRG report says a better way to go is to simply agree to changes in the law, on which supporters and opponents should be able to find common ground.

Nelson says with the focus on jobs, health care repeal would be a step in the wrong direction.

"It would actually pull more than $4 billion out of our state over the next several years, for Medicaid funding."

Gov. Walker has given the green light to the Wisconsin attorney general to join a federal lawsuit urging the rollback of the law.

The report, "The Cost of Repeal: Examining the Impact on Wisconsin of Repealing the New Federal Health Care Law," is online at www.wispirg.org.

Glen Gardner, Public News Service - WI