Evers-O-Meter

Bolster preventive health programs that have been defunded

“As governor, Tony will: Invest in preventive health programs, especially for Wisconsin women, that have been defunded over the last seven years. Having to drive four hours round-trip for a mammogram, simply isn’t acceptable.”

Subjects: Health Care

Updates

Many health initiatives cut from Evers' budget

As a candidate for governor, Tony Evers promised to invest in preventative health programs that faced cuts under Republican leadership. 

Evers emphasized that restoring the funding would benefit Wisconsin women.

In his 2019-'21 budget, he proposed spending nearly $28 million to expand access to women's health care and reduce infant mortality rates. 

One of the key goals of Evers' plan -- dubbed "Healthy Women, Healthy Babies" -- was to create a state-run infant mortality prevention program. Additional aspects included expanding health coverage for mothers insured under Medicaid and increase grant funding for programs providing cancer screenings and testing for sexually transmitted infections.

Republicans opposed Evers' $28 million plan in part because it would allow Planned Parenthood to receive federal funding for family planning services. Republicans also rejected the governor's efforts to expand Medicaid and access $1.6 billion in federal funding.

They did keep a keep the governor's initiative to increase funding for the Well Woman Program, which provides uninsured and underinsured women between 45 to 65 with breast and cervical cancer screening services. Additionally, Republicans kept a minority health grant. 

As for Evers' infant mortality program, Republicans added five staff positions for the program, but the move was vetoed because the governor believed there were staffing shortages for other health priorities.

Overall, Republicans agreed to allocate $588 million worth of state spending on health care programs over the next two years. 

But, much of Evers' initiatives on women's health were cut.

We rate this Stalled.

Sources:

The Capital Times, Tony Evers to propose $28 million in budget for women's health care, infant mortality reduction, Feb. 21, 2019

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, GOP signals Medicaid expansion, medical marijuana, minimum wage increase will be thrown out of Evers' state budget, May 1, 2019

The Capital Times, Budget committee approves increase in health funding without Medicaid expansion dollars, June 5, 2019

The Capital Times, Wisconsin ranks 13th in child well-being; advocates say state can do better, June 17, 2019

2019-2021 Wisconsin State Budget, Comparative Summary of Budget Recommendations