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Gov. Walker's office: Promise of Medicaid money not as secure as Dems say

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MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Governor Scott Walker’s office says the promise of more federal Medicaid money is not as secure as Democrats want you to believe.

Cullen Werwie of the governor’s office says fiscal uncertainties put the funding in question. And GOP Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says there a chance the money will be cut in the future due to Washington’s, “massive debt.”

Tuesday, Democratic lawmakers called on Walker and the GOP to take the option of expanding tax-funded health programs like BadgerCare and SeniorCare.

Milwaukee Assembly Democrat Jon Richards called it a “good deal.” The non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau said the state would save $66 million over the next 3 years, since it would get enough federal money to add up to 175,000 more people in its Medicaid rolls.

In the four years after that, the Fiscal Bureau said Washington would provide $66 for every $1 the state spends on Medicaid.

Vos said Democrats are too focused on the state’s current savings. As he put it, “We need to consider what’s best for Wisconsin not just for the next three years, but for the next 30 years.”

Walker has yet to say if he’ll pursue a Medicaid expansion. He’ll announce that decision when he unveils his next state budget package in two weeks.

Nine other states have said no – and the decision does not always fall on party lines. Republican governors in Ohio and Arizona are taking the extra funding. 

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