A Breakdown of Walker's Medicaid Plan
Photo: Video by nbc26.com
MADISON, WI--In a controversial move, Governor Scott Walker says no to expanding Medicaid. The federal money could have been used to expand Badgercare. Instead, Walker unveiled his own plan that he says will drop the state's number of uninsured adults from 14% to 7%.
Governor Walker says under his plan more than 224,000child-less adults would be insured, creating more spots in Badgercare. But not everyone is happy with his decision, especially people who are still on the waiting list for insurance.
58, 603. That's cancer survivor Diane Escher's number on the waiting list for Badgercare.
"It would be such a blessing to get healthcare" said Escher.
She'd hoped federal funding would help her get insurance, but she'll keep waiting.
Governor Walker says his plan will reduce the number of uninsured adults in Wisconsin, and reduce the number of people dependent on the government.
'I want the funding that we provide through things like Medicaid to be for who it was meant for. For people who are poor," said Walker.
Under Walker's plan, only adults making $11,490 dollars a year or $15,510 for couples, in other words at the poverty level, would eligible for Medicaid. The governor wants more people to buy insurance through the private exchanges.
"Where they not only provide savings to the taxpayers. They ultimately provide more control, more independence, more authority to the people and the families who participate in that" said Walker.
For someone just above the poverty line that would cost $19 a month. But many Democrats say that's punishing Wisconsin taxpayers, whose federal tax money will go to fund Medicaid in other states.
"It's bad for the state budget and bad for the people who are having a tough time getting by and hoping to get ahead" said Representative Gordon Hintz, (D) Oshkosh.
Escher waits patiently.
"It's just a daily thing that I'm hoping my health holds out," she said.
So far six Republican governors said yes to federal funding for Medicaid expansion. A dozen Republican governors, including Walker now, have said no to the money.