The Ryan Budget Would Harm Investments in Education, Health, and Transportation


April 3, 2013

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The budget passed by the U.S. House of Representatives includes deep cuts in federal support for investments important for Wisconsin’s future.

Here are some of the ways the House budget could harm Wisconsin:

  • In 2014, the proposed budget could reduce federal discretionary grants to Wisconsin state and local governments by $377 million. That means our communities would have far fewer resources to investment in priorities such as clean water, improving teacher quality, and road repair. Over the next decade, the cuts in those grants to Wisconsin could swell to $3.8 billion, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
  • 2,840 Wisconsin children could lose their enrollment slots in Head Start in 2014, according to the National Education Association.
  • The costs of educating 24,770 special education students in Wisconsin could shift from the federal government to the state and school districts.
  • School districts in Wisconsin could lose out on federal funding for 53,470 economically disadvantaged students.
  • More than 150,000 Wisconsin families would pay higher taxes, starting in 2018, because the proposed budget allows important improvements in refundable tax credits to expire. Nearly 320,000 children in those families would be affected.

The House budget would repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which is already providing a broad range of important health care improvements to Wisconsinites. The following benefits are some of the health care improvements that would be lost if that budget proposal became law:

  • Expanded access to preventive health care services for nearly 1.5 million Wisconsinites, including 378,000 children, who are receiving preventive services without additional financial barriers like co-pays and deductibles.
  • Protection of BadgerCare for 29,000 Wisconsin children who would have lost their coverage because of changes sought by the state budget, and who have maintained health care security through BadgerCare because of a provisions in the ACA.
  • Increased peace of mind for 2.1 million Wisconsinites, including 580,000 children, who are free from worrying about lifetime limits on insurance coverage.
  • Substantial savings for Wisconsin seniors on Medicare, who saved an average of $731 per beneficiary in 2012 because of the narrowing of the donut hole in prescription drug coverage.

The loss of those ACA benefits would be just the start of the effects on access to affordable health care. On top of those cuts, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that the House budget would slash Medicaid funding by 31 percent by 2023, which would require deep cuts in eligibility and services.