Letter to the Editor:

The decision of our Legislature to reject Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Health-care Act shows a lack of pragmatism. 

The taxpayers of Wisconsin are currently paying for this provision, but are reaping none of the benefits. 

In effect, we are paying for a service, but refusing to use that service even though it is desperately needed. 

This decision is being made by elected officials out of purely ideological grounds and has no logical basis of sound management principles. 

On one hand, these folks are saying they are against the Affordable Health-care Act, but in the next breath saying that Medicaid expansion is not needed because of the Affordable Health-care Act, even though Medicaid expansion is a vital part of the Affordable Health-care Act. 

According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, our state is leaving $2.4 billion on the table of which $9 million would go to Vilas County. 

This is money that would help those in need because they are either unemployed or under-employed in a minimum-wage service sector job and due to the ever escalating cost of health care, this is money that would help our health-care providers continue to service our communities. These are funds that have been accepted by 37 states including all our neighboring states and many Republican-controlled states.

In effect, our tax dollars are supporting their expansion. 

The reason cited for not taking this money is that it is welfare. This is totally an ideological argument. 

So I ask these same people “What are the Foxconn and Kimberly-Clark subsidies?” “What are the agriculture subsidies for soybean farmers?” “What are the many federal subsidies given to the states in the form of grants for various programs that helps the business community and its citizenry?” 

So is it socialism for corporations, and well-connected and unbridled capitalism for everyone else. 

Call your elected representatives and tell them you want our fellow citizens to be respected and treated fairly. Tell them you expect them to be even-handed, not political, ideological hacks.

Mike Gerlach