Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walkerâ€™s plan to reject additional federal Medicaid funding for the stateâ€™s BadgerCare program is drawing mixed reviews, mostly divided along party lines.
Predictably, several Republican state legislators stepped up to guard Walkerâ€™s back.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said, "I support the governorâ€™s decision. Weâ€™re giving more people access to private health insurance without putting state tax dollars at risk. Our focus will continue to be reducing peopleâ€™s reliance on government programs. We want fewer people on Medicaid and want to give people the opportunity to choose whatâ€™s best for their families. Our state will continue to make the necessary investments to provide medical coverage for the poor but will not rely on the empty promises from the federal government to fund a program that they canâ€™t afford."
State Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) said, "We have an obligation to protect our most vulnerable and taxpayers. Governor Walker's plan does both. After we finally have our fiscal house in order, it would be irresponsible to send the state back into uncertainty because the federal government doesn't honor another
commitment. Adding to that uncertainty is the fact that it has been more than three years since the President signed a budget into law. We simply can't count on the money being there in the future."
Predictably, several Democrats criticized Walkerâ€™s plan. Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) said, "Today Gov. Walker said no to extending BadgerCare to as many as 175,000 people all across Wisconsin. He said no to doing the right thing for people who desperately need care, no to doing the right thing for taxpayers and no to health care jobs. Saying yes should have been the easiest budget decision Gov. Walker had to make. Instead, he placed support from right-wing extremists before the needs of Wisconsin taxpayers, vulnerable citizens and unemployed job seekers. Now he's trying to muddy …Read more...