Walker seeks federal approval to limit health coverage and continue cost-shift

GOP waiver would extend costly plan and deny families health care

MADISON, WI – Gov. Walker’s decision to reject the federal Medicaid expansion has cost Wisconsin taxpayers over $1 billion while preventing thousands of families from accessing affordable care. The plan has been derided nationally as cruel, immoral, nonsensical, fiscally irresponsible and stupid. Now, five years into the costly Republican experiment, the Walker administration is seeking an extension to further limit coverage and shift additional costs onto Wisconsin taxpayers.


"If we accept the Medicaid expansion it would increase access to health care, provide additional funding for state programs like education, and create 10,000 health care related jobs," said Assembly Democratic Leader Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh). "Republican Governors from Michigan to New Mexico have accepted the Medicaid expansion. Governor Walker's continued rejection of these federal funds has cost Wisconsin taxpayers over $1 billion while covering 79,000 less people. This should be a no-brainer. It is disappointing but not surprising that the Governor continues to put extreme ideology over the people of Wisconsin.”


A Democratic effort to accept the full federal Medicaid expansion in the 2017-19 budget was rejected by majority party Republicans. The move would have saved Wisconsin taxpayers $286.3 million over the next two years. To date, Gov. Walker’s rejection of federal funds has cost Wisconsin taxpayers $1.07 billion more than if the state had fully expanded BadgerCare, according to the Legislature's non-partisan budget office.


“Wisconsin could have saved over $1 billion dollars, lowered health care costs and expanded access to affordable coverage for thousands of families in our state,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “Instead, Gov. Walker chose to limit health care access and reject federal funding so he could position himself to run for President. Now that those 71 days are behind us, we have another chance to revisit this decision and do what’s right. We should accept the federal Medicaid funding, expand access to BadgerCare and save Wisconsin taxpayers millions of dollars. It’s time to put the wellbeing of Wisconsin resident ahead of Gov. Walker’s personal political ambitions.”


Members of the public are encouraged to attend one of two public information sessions to comment on the Walker Administration’s proposal.



Tuesday, December 5, 2017

10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Pontiac Convention Center, Regal Room

2809 N. Pontiac Dr.

Janesville, WI 53545


Thursday, December 7, 2017

10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Brown County Central Library

515 Pine St.

Green Bay, WI 54301


Individuals who are unable to attend one of these two sessions in person may submit written comments to:


Division of Medicaid Services

P.O. Box 309

Madison, WI 53707-0309

Fax: 608-266-1096

Email: wisconsin1115clawaiver@dhs.wisconsin.gov


Public comments will be accepted from November 24 - December 24, 2017.