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Advocate Says State Should Take Medicaid Money

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In the past 10 days, 7 county boards have written the Joint Finance Committee preparing the budget to accept federal Medicaid dollars to help fund Wisconsin's BadgerCare program.

Three of the boards included Oneida, Lincoln and Marathon counties.

Kevin Kane from the group Citizen Action of Wisconsin says the counties know they are likely to see first hand what will happen if those dollars don't come in....

".....counties by their nature are much closer to their communities and understand the impact of the decisions made in Madison how it will impact the constituents on the local level. Healthcare is one of the areas where counties feel the impact much sooner than the state...."

Kane says the counties will see costs rise as people formerly on BadgerCare come for local help.

Governor Walker and many in the Republican-controlled legislature don't want the money, hoping to limit the growth of the public health care plan. But Kane says the money is already designated for Medicaid...

".....Wisconsin is often more of a 'donor' state. We don't receive the federal tax dollars(back) that we pay in...so we're talking billions of dollars to our healthcare providers..."

The state Joint Finance Committee is considering whether to accept more than 4 billion federal dollars.