Walker Holds Ground on Not taking Medicaid Expansion

By: WSAW Staff Email
By: WSAW Staff Email

According to a legislative fiscal bureau report, Wisconsin would have saved about $206 million dollars had Governor Scott Walker decided to expand Medicaid coverage.

Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government would pay the entire cost of expanding Medicaid to cover everyone earning up to 138 percent of the poverty level through 2016.

Walker instead extended coverage to adults at or below the poverty level.

The governor was in Weston on Monday where he toured C-Tech Manufacturing.

He says he doubts the federal aid would ever make it to the state.

"Anybody who's been paying attention to the federal government knows that the federal government has about a 17-trillion dollar debt. They've reneged many times in the past, whether its been on Medicaid or special education funding. Anybody who thinks the government at the federal level, that's that far into debt and operating in the deficit's going to come through with the promises of new money at a time when they can't even make the current commitments they have, I think is living in a bit of a fantasy world," said Walker.

Democratic State Senator Jennifer Shilling says Governor Walker's argument is a weak one, and that he should now find a way to utilize that savings to save every taxpayer money.

"I would like to see the governor have a frank discussion with his administration and with the federal government in finding a way that Wisconsinites could utilize this money and we can accept that federal assistance here in the state to strengthen Medicaid and to help our neighbors and our communities around the state who are needing access to affordable health insurance, when many of the other states are doing the exact same thing," Shilling commented Monday.

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