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UPDATE: Advocates for Poor Question Walker's Plan

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

UPDATE: 2/14 at 1:28 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Advocates for the poor in Wisconsin are questioning whether Gov. Scott Walker's plan to move more people off of state Medicaid plans and onto a federal marketplace where they will purchase private insurance will work as promised.

Walker says the plan he unveiled Wednesday will result in about 5,000 fewer people being on Medicaid, but increase the overall number covered by insurance by 224,580. Those people would purchase their coverage through the federally run health insurance exchange and not be covered by Medicaid.

But Bobby Peterson, head of the public interest law firm ABC for Health, said Thursday the poorest people kicked out of Medicaid will have a hard time affording even the $19 a month coverage under the exchange.

Peterson says people like them will lose insurance coverage.
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ORIGINAL STORY: 2/13 at 9:16 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Republican Gov. Scott Walker says he won't expand Wisconsin's Medicaid services to 175,000 childless adults as the federal health care overhaul law allows.

Instead, Walker announced Wednesday a hybrid approach that he says will drop the state's uninsured non-elderly adults from 14 percent to 7 percent.

Walker's plan would tighten the income threshold to qualify for Medicaid, but also lift the cap on a program that covers childless adults. He says the net effect would insure 224,580 more people.

Walker was among the last Republican governors to decide whether to move forward with the expansion. Six Republican governors have agreed to the Medicaid expansion.

Wisconsin's hospitals and many medical and health advocacy groups had urged Walker to accept the federal money to pay for the expansion of services.


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