April 24, 2014

Walker eyes Washington on Medicaid decision

Governor Scott Walker is holding off on making a decision on the expansion of Medicaid services, a requirement under the federal health care law. Walker said the federal government says it will pay for 100 percent of the expansion for the first three years and then 90 percent after that. Walker is however concerned the state will end up picking up a larger share of funding given past unfunded mandates and the current debate in Washington.

“In light of the fiscal cliff and all the discussions if they’re going to make reductions anyway, the most likely place to make a reduction is an area that hasn’t been fully enacted yet.” Walker told reporters Wednesday.

The governor said the Medicaid issue is part of a larger problem of the “uncertainty” of the Affordable Care Act. Walker repeated that is a reason he decided to defer to the federal government in developing a Wisconsin health care exchange.

State Health Secretary Dennis Smith said Wednesday a decision on Medicaid expansion will be in the governor’s budget, out early next year.