UPDATE: Republicans vote to reject Medicaid expansion

UPDATED Tuesday, June 4, 2013 --- 2:53 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Republican-controlled budget committee has rejected a federally funded expansion of Wisconsin's BadgerCare Medicaid program.

The Joint Finance Committee voted 12-4 Tuesday along party lines to go along with Gov. Scott Walker's budget proposal and reject the expansion.

Democrats argue rejecting the expansion doesn't make sense because it will cost the state about $150 million more to provide coverage to nearly 85,000 fewer people. Walker's plan lowers Medicaid eligibility to those earning 100 percent of poverty, not the current 200 percent.

Republicans say Walker's plan is adding certainty and there's no guarantee the federal government would pay for expansion.

They note that Walker's plan removes a cap on a program for childless adults, a move estimated to extend coverage to more than 82,000 people earning at or below poverty.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


Posted Tuesday, June 4, 2013 --- 10:32 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Health care advocates and recipients of Wisconsin's BadgerCare benefits are calling on the Legislature's budget committee to accept a federally funded Medicaid expansion.

The Joint Finance Committee was scheduled to vote Tuesday on Gov. Scott Walker's plan rejecting the expansion.

Teresa Torres of Milwaukee says she applied for BadgerCare benefits in 2008 but she's still on the waiting list. Torres says she's since been diagnosed with a rare blood disease and doesn't know how she'll get the coverage she needs.

She says the Legislature's decision on whether to expand Medicaid coverage to people like her will affect the rest of her life.

Democratic lawmakers say it makes sense for Wisconsin to join with 24 other states that are expanding because more people will be covered and it will cost less.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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