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Gov. Walker doesn't believe he's leaving money on table in rejected federal Medicaid plan


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Governor Scott Walker does not believe he’s leaving money on the table, by rejecting millions of extra federal dollars to expand Medicaid as part of the Obama health law.

Senate Republican Luther Olsen of Ripon questioned Walker’s decision Wednesday, when the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee reviewed the governor’s Medicaid reform plan.

After speaking to Wisconsin Realtors, the Republican Walker told reporters that the federal government does not have money to pay for Medicaid today – so it stands to reason that it won’t have the money to keep its funding promises in the future.

The governor also believed his Medicaid package had strong support among lawmakers – and that Olsen would vote in favor of it as part of the final budget.

Instead of taking the federal money and expanding health programs for the poor, the Republican Walker wants to stop giving BadgerCare to childless adults above the poverty level.

Panel co-chairman John Nygren said it would allow all adults under the poverty line to be covered for the first time in state history.

But Olsen joined Democrats as saying he couldn’t understand why Wisconsin would say no to more money from Washington.