Critics say Governor Walker's proposed Medicaid changes will be complicated for families and costly for taxpayers. A federal health official says they're reviewing the plan.
When Scott Walker announced his plan to reject expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, the Republican governor said it was part of entitlement reform that provided a "hand up, not a hand out." Critics say there is a role for government to play in helping citizens get basic services. At a recent statewide health conference held in Madison, Bobby Peterson of ABC for Health used this example to illustrate how a free market system isn't always all that free.
"Government is in all different aspects of our lives. We don't talk about 'How did you get here today? On our 'socialized' roads? Do your kids go to the 'socialized' library system?' It gets a little ridiculous at a certain point when you talk about 'culture of dependence.' Why are these kids going to the library? They should be buying books from Amazon and book stores."
A federal official at the health conference was asked to comment on Governor Walker's decision to take 87,000 adults off Medicaid. The expectation is they'll buy private insurance online through federal marketplaces. Kenneth Munson is regional director for the U.S. Department of Health Services. "I really have no response to the decision made other than [to say], the states can make those decisions as they wish."
Munson says states can always change their mind, and decide later to expand Medicaid using 100 percent federal money the first three years and 90 percent funding after that.