September 1, 2014

Walker still skeptical on Medicaid expansion money

Democrats are hoping to convince Governor Walker to say yes to federal dollars meant to expand BadgerCare in Wisconsin. They cite a report from the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau that shows Wisconsin would save $65 million if the state takes the money. Walker was asked Wednesday, how much of a factor the study in making his upcoming decision is.

“We’ll look at that but one of the things to remember is I put more than $1.2 billion dollars of state money into Medicaid,” responded Walker, referring to the last state budget. He says that amount is more than any other governor in Wisconsin history.

Walker says Wisconsin is being shortchanged on current Medicaid obligations from the federal government and his discussions with federal lawmakers give rise to his skepticism. “They (Congress) think they’re going to have a difficult time funding what’s on the table now, let alone future Medicaid expansion.”

One of the groups pushing for the governor to expand the program, disputes this claim. Robert Kraig of Citizen Action of Wisconsin says “the national health care law did appropriate the money, so the spending is already the law of the land.”  

Walker says he is looking “all the different options” on whether-or-not to accept the money.