Dear editor,

I am an old woman.

I remember the frugality of Sen. William Proxmire who served the people of Wisconsin in the U.S. Senate for 32 years. Senator Proxmire refused contributions and spent less than $200 out of his own pocket to cover expenses related to filing his re-election papers, and Senator Proxmire mailed back unsolicited campaign donations. He championed open, honest government and opposed any form of corruption.

Today, we have politicians like Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, a Republican. He alone says “No to a plan that would provide Wisconsin with $1.6 billion for healthcare.” This was the headline in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, March 18, 2021. The article is written by Patrick Marley.

Vos rejects ACA expansion that would reap Wisconsin $1.6 billion (

The $1.6 billion “would result in tens of thousands more people getting coverage while seeing the state’s costs drop by hundreds of millions of dollars a year.”

“The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, includes a provision that dramatically boosts federal aid for states that make programs like Wisconsin’s BadgerCare Plus available to those earning 138 percent of the federal poverty level.”

“Most states have agreed to the arrangement because it lowers their costs while increasing the number of people with health insurance.” The neighboring states of Wisconsin have accepted this money.

In all honesty, this is our tax money that has been sent to the federal government and would be returned to our state to assure more people would be covered while saving the state money.

Since 2014, when the opportunity to expand healthcare became available, the Republicans have refused to accept the funds which would also expand coverage to thousands of Wisconsinites. It would also save the taxpayer money.

As of June 30, 2017, the state had passed up an estimated $227.6 million available through the law, according to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau. I couldn’t find up-to-date statistics since then.

Medicaid Expansion In Wisconsin Would Lower Premiums For those With Private Insurance | Health Affairs

Vos says “no amount of federal money could get him to change his mind.” What do the 66 Republican Representatives think? What do the 20 Republican Senators think? Are they cowards and afraid to go against Boss Vos? Vos says the $1.6 billion would expand welfare.

Vos had no objections in applying for and accepting between $150,000 to $350,000 of “welfare” from the federal government for the corona relief, Paycheck Protection Program, for his popcorn business.

Vos company received $150K-$350K in coronavirus loans (

Taxpayers pay for the health insurance for the 99 members of the Assembly, including Vos, and 33 members of the Senate. They accept the “welfare” willingly and yet Vos and his party deny access to healthcare to an additional 82,000 Wisconsinites.

In Governor Evers fiscal budget for the next two years, he has proposed expanding the eligibility to an additional 82,000 residents between 100 percent and 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level while saving the taxpayers money.

Wisconsin once stood as a bastion of progressive values. Now the Republican party has an iron grip on Wisconsin due to gerrymandered districts and the money flowing into their coffers. 

As of October, 27, 2020, Vos had received contributions of over $390,000 for just one election cycle. It appears that we now have “King Vos” who holds the power over the lives of all Wisconsinites and is able to deny coverage to 82,000 by just saying “No.” I truly mourn.

Joyce Luedke of Weston

Editor’s note: Wausau Pilot & Review gladly publishes commentary from readers, residents and candidates for local offices. The views of readers and columnists are independent of this newspaper and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wausau Pilot & Review. To submit, email or mail to 500 N. Third St., Suite 208-8, Wausau, Wis. 54403.