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Report: Gov. Walker will expand Medicaid programs without federal money

by
Health care graphic copyright Midwest Communications, Inc.
Health care graphic copyright Midwest Communications, Inc.

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Governor Scott Walker will apparently try to expand Wisconsin’s Medicaid programs without taking an offer of millions in federal dollars.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said Tuesday that the Republican Walker will turn down the federal government’s option to expand health care for the poor and elderly under the Obama reform package.

Instead, the paper’s Web site says Walker will ask legislators to tighten eligibility standards for some types of Medicaid recipients. And those above the thresholds would move into the new federal health purchasing exchanges which will take effect next year.

The Journal Sentinel said Walker would make all of this official Wednesday. The paper said it would create more spots for childless adults under the BadgerCare Plus Core plan, which now has about 22,000 people in it with a capacity of 65,000.

The net increase in Wisconsin’s Medicaid enrollment would be around 35,000 with the goal of reducing the percentage of uninsured Wisconsinites to around 6 percent.

Walker’s people are not confirming or denying any details.

Last week, Walker told the newspaper that he would not be likely to take the full Medicaid expansion – but he could not envision a system in which it was all or nothing. The governor called it a middle path.

Legislative leaders said they were not told Tuesday what Walker has in mind for Medicaid.

Democrats were hoping the state would accept both the federal expansion and the added money from Washington – but Republicans are afraid the money will be cut off and the states would have be left holding the bag. 

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