your vote can:

Make Wisconsin Healthier for
Communities of Color

PDF of this issue guide

Wisconsin's schools, communities, and its economy will be better when every person in the state has access to opportunity—but in order to achieve this, Wisconsin needs lawmakers who will stand up for racial justice and advance policies that promote racial equity. It's absolutely vital this election season that voters demand that candidates promote policies that will improve the well-being of children and families—especially for children and families of color.

So what issues should voters ask candidates to prioritize? What policies should candidates focus on? 
Candidates running for public office in Wisconsin must be committed to protecting and expanding health care coverage, access, and affordability for Wisconsin’s kids and families, especially communities of color. Wisconsin has wide racial disparities in access to health insurance and health care, and candidates need to pursue solutions that will ensure people of color have access to affordable health insurance and health care. Specifically, we urge candidates to:

  • Protect the coverage gains Wisconsin has made, but also continue to build on this progress. Kids and families need health coverage to get and stay healthy. They also need economic security so they won’t go bankrupt because of a medical emergency. While the uninsured rates for both adults and children have decreased significantly over the past decade, there are still wide disparities among whites and Black, Asian, Latinx, and Native American residents. For Latinx and Native American Wisconsinites, the uninsured rate is about four times the rate for white people. There is still a lot of work to do.

  • Make sure that Medicaid is strong. Resist cuts to Wisconsin's Medicaid program that undermine its ability to respond to any growing needs, or its capacity provide critical doctor-recommended services our children and families need to get them healthy and keep them healthy.

  • Close the coverage gap, so that the 300,000 Wisconsinites who do not currently have health insurance are able to get it. Wisconsin’s approach to partial Medicaid expansion has not been sufficient to care for our state’s kids and families and leaves us all paying more to cover fewer people. While partial expansion has given thousands of Wisconsinites access to health insurance, it pales in comparison to full expansion in neighboring states like Minnesota and Michigan. Both of those states also have smaller disparities in access to insurance for Black and white residents compared to Wisconsin.

  • Support policies that maintain statewide access to affordable and comprehensive health plans, without benefit gaps or costly premiums. Wisconsin families should be able to choose an affordable health plan that covers their needs, regardless of whether or not they have a pre-existing condition, without fear of going bankrupt due to medical costs.

  • Keep premiums and care costs from rising, including maintaining access to robust tax credits for marketplace plans. Currently, 88% of Wisconsin’s marketplace consumers receive an average monthly tax credit of about $665 to help keep quality health insurance within reach. The state should take steps to ensure that the marketplace is stable, including restricting plans that discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions and that have large gaps in benefits, which would undermine the rest of the market. 

Protecting and expanding health care coverage, access, and affordability for Wisconsin’s kids and families, especially communities of color is important and must be a priority for voters and candidates running for public office. Everyone must play their part in making Wisconsin the best place for every child, every family, and every community.