As lawmakers prepare to write Wisconsin’s next biennial budget, one potential source of bipartisan cooperation could be working to address the state’s health care workforce shortages.

That’s according to five of the state’s top health care lobbyists, who discussed what the outcome of Nov. 8’s midterm elections will mean for health care in the state during a Tuesday event hosted by Wisconsin Health News.

The need for help is urgent, the lobbyists said. A March 2022 report from the Wisconsin Hospital Association found that an “aging workforce combined with a spike in worker departures created unprecedented levels of vacancy rates in health care professions in 2021.” A lack of workers, combined with a licensing backlog affecting health care workers, leaves health care providers struggling to staff their facilities, the lobbyists said.