20 counties, including Oneida and Lincoln, have asked Governor Walker to allow them to access Medicaid money from the federal government to offset local health care expenses.
Earlier this year, Governor Walker notified the Obama Administration he would not be taking money for Wisconsin's version called BadgerCare from the Affordable Health Care Act to offset those costs.
The counties asked Governor Walker to allow them to get the funds through the state in another method. In Oneida county, the board of supervisors felt local costs could go up without the additional funds. Last week, Walker said he wouldn't agree to have the state involved.
Kevin Kane from Citizen Action of Wisconsin, said the Governor misinterpreted what the counties were asking...
"...the Governor made it seem like we were trying to do a side-step completely around state government and that's not what we're trying to do. The 20 counties that sent the state a letter were asking for a joint project together with the Department of Health Services, much like what happened in Ohio...."
In Ohio, the state partnered with Cuyahoga county near Cleveland to do a pilot project for Medicaid with the federal funds. Ohio, too, turned down the federal money...
"....(Governor Walker) is totally wrong, so he's trying to dismiss this argument before it gets to out of hand by saying it's not possible, he wouldn't allow it, (thus) proving a third option is out there. We might be able to take Medicaid funding at our choosing...."
Kane says contrary to popular belief the Medicaid funds for Wisconsin's BadgerCare program can be accessed at any time.