Gov. Scott Walker just assaulted Milwaukeeans when he signed the budget. From defunding urban public transportation to reducing our tax base, his budget is a blow to Milwaukee's future.
The most brutal attack was aimed at our access to health care.
While the federal government attempts to fund greater health access through Medicaid expansion, helping communities like Milwaukee, our governor refuses these lifelines and diminishes current coverage.
"Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane," said Martin Luther King Jr.
This loss to BadgerCare is shocking and inhumane. By reducing coverage of state health programs such as BadgerCare, Walker has pushed nearly 90,000 people off health care, many of them in Milwaukee.
His extremist action differs greatly from past conservative Wisconsin policymakers. It was Governor Tommy Thompson who developed BadgerCare to extend health care benefits to low-income, working families with children, delivering on a promise to ensure access to quality, affordable health care for Wisconsin families.
Under Walker's predecessor Governor Doyle, BadgerCare was expanded to cover childless adults. It became a leading example of affordable health care in the nation.
The plan proposed by Governor Walker reverses course and devalues us all.
Denying tens of thousands access to affordable health care will be detrimental to our economy and to every Wisconsinite," says Rep. Jocasta Zamarippa.
This ruthless act is no cost-saving measure. It will come at a cost to Wisconsin taxpayers, as Walker and the Republican legislature rejected federal funding that should have expanded health care. Rep. Sandy Pasch stated that Walker's decision cost our families an extra $120 million.
This budget also threatens approximately 29,000 children with a loss of health care coverage in the future. And most Badger Care recipients haven't been notified of the cuts, which are just six months away.
Health care for everyone, not just those who can afford it, is every Wisconsinite's right.
Shame on Gov. Walker and the legislature for denying that right and for sending our state backwards.
Sarah D. Noble is the managing director of the Reproductive Justice Collective.