Walker to announce decison on Medicaid expansion
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker plans to announce Wednesday his much-anticipated decision on whether Wisconsin will expand its Medicaid services to cover 175,000 childless adults as allowed under the federal health care overhaul law.
Walker signaled last week that he may strike a middle path, not fully embracing the expansion allowed under the law championed by President Barack Obama but also making it possible for more people to get coverage under the state’s BadgerCare Medicaid health programs.
“I think there’s more than just a black or white,” Walker told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in a Friday interview about the choices before him. “I think there’s variations.”
Walker is among the last Republican governors to decide whether to move forward with the expansion. Six Republican governors, including John Kasich in Ohio, already have agreed to the expansion while 11 other Republican governors have turned it down.
Walker’s spokesman Cullen Werwie said Tuesday that the governor would announce his decision on Wednesday.
There is no credible middle ground that can be taken to guarantee coverage to people who have fallen through the cracks of the current system, said Robert Kraig, director of the liberal health care advocacy group Citizen Action.
“As far as we know, taking the new health care reform money for BadgerCare really is an all or nothing proposition,” Kraig said.
An outspoken opponent of the health care overhaul law, Walker previously declined to create a state-run marketplace for insurance providers, instead deferring to the federal government to create the exchange.