Wisconsin's Scott Walker Turns Down Full Medicaid Expansion

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) refused the federal government's offer to cover an expansion of the state's Medicaid program if it met full criteria, but he said he would begin to include the poorest childless adults on the state-federal health plan, according to a report by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

A full expansion of BadgerCare, Wisconsin's version of Medicaid, by federal standards would have added 252,700 people to its rolls, but Gov. Walker's plan will help insure an additional 224,600 via loosened BadgerCare eligibility and shifting ineligible low-income residents onto the health insurance exchange where they will qualify for subsidies beginning in 2014.

Gov. Walker and his supporters claimed the measure will empower individuals to "control their own destiny" and limit the state's liability for covering more residents, whereas critics said refusing the full federal funding will cost the state a projected $4.38 billion in federal funding through 2020, or 66 times the state's investment of $67 million, according to the report.

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