Republican Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin is rejecting Medicaid expansion and instead opting for federally subsidized coverage under Obamacare. Walker, who has been a critic of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, announced his new plan on Wednesday.
Speaking at a meeting of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, a business lobby, the governor said his plan would cover 224,600 people, 11 percent fewer than would be covered with a full expansion of Medicaid under the federal healthcare law but would reduce the role of government in their lives, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“Some people will portray this as not caring about people. I think it’s just the opposite. I care too much about the people of this state not to empower them to control their own destiny,” Walker told the audience.
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The plan would allow impoverished adults without dependent children to enroll in Medicaid while shifting those adults with somewhat higher incomes into a new health insurance exchange due to take effect in 2014, said the paper.
Democrats in the state have advocated for expanding Medicaid and the billions of dollars in federal funding that would come with it.
Democrat U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, said Walker was “putting politics before people in Wisconsin.”
“I do not foresee a better deal being offered to Wisconsin or any other state in our lifetime,” he told the Journal Sentinel.
So far, according to the paper, six Republican governors have agreed to the Medicaid expansion, while 14 have turned it down.
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