State, county officials ask Gov. Walker to accept federal Medica - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

State, county officials ask Gov. Walker to accept federal Medicaid funds

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LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) – Gov. Scott Walker plans to end Medicaid the state's Medicaid program, known as BadgerCare, for adults who earn just above the federal poverty line. Then he'll add about the same number of people who earn below the poverty line who don't have insurance.

Some state and county representatives, along with Citizen Action of Wisconsin, called on the governor to accept federal Medicaid funds Monday.

They said the funds would allow thousands of more low income adults to get coverage.

Rep. Melissa Sargent, (D) WI 48th District, proposed legislation asks that counties have the power to choose whether to accept the federal funding.

She said  if it passes, La Crosse County would receive almost $18 million in funding over the next few years. That would provide coverage to about 4-thousand county residents.

"So what we're talking about is providing healthcare for our working poor," Sargent said. "These are people that are trying their very best to be independent, they're trying their very best to take care of themselves and their families, but they're not making quite enough money in order to do that.

Under the proposed legislation, counties would not have to accept the federal funding.

Gov. Walker has repeatedly said he will not accept federal Medicaid funds.

He said Wisconsin is more than capable of providing funding for BadgerCare.

"In the three years I've been governor, we've put almost $2 billion more state aid in to Medicaid. So we put more in than governors have historically," Walker said. "That's something we're doing in a way that doesn't expose taxpayers to a greater risk in the future."

"Next month, for the first time in the state's history, everyone living under poverty will be covered under Medicaid," he added.

Walker said between the expansion of BadgerCare and the healthcare marketplace, all income levels will have access to healthcare.

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