Governor Scott Walker will announce Wednesday whether he plans to expand Wisconsin's Medicaid program using funds from the federal health care law. Signs suggest Walker will announce another alternative.
When the Supreme Court upheld the health care law, it made part of the law optional, leaving it to states to decide whether to use federal funds to expand Medicaid to uninsured adults without children. Walker said Tuesday that the plan he introduces would reduce Wisconsin's uninsured, "but also reduce the number of people who are dependent on the government on a permanent basis. I want to provide a hand-up, not a permanent handout."
Milwaukee Assembly Democrat Jon Richards said if Walker was really concerned with getting more people insured, he'd use the federal money to expand Wisconsin's BadgerCare. "Instead what I'm hearing is that he's concocting some sort of Rube Goldberg machine held together with Scotch tape and bailing wire."
As many as 175,000 childless adults would qualify for expansion of BadgerCare in Wisconsin. There's no telling yet how many people the governor's plan would cover. Walker said his plan would address not only Medicaid, but also food stamps and unemployment insurance.