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Wis. governor won't expand Medicaid

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker announced Wednesday that he won't propose expanding Medicaid services in the state, breaking with other Republican governors who decided to accept federal money for an expansion as offered under the health care overhaul law.

Walker, who unveiled the plan at a meeting of the state chamber of commerce, said the net result would drop the state's share of uninsured non-elderly adults from 14 percent to just 7 percent — about the level seen as likely under the Medicaid expansion."I want to have fewer people in the state who are uninsured, but along with that I'd like to have fewer people in the state who are dependent on government," Walker said in describing his plan.

"I'm not certain what Gov. Walker is trying to prove," said Democratic state Sen. Jon Erpenbach. "If we do not take this money, it's going to go to other states."

Walker has been an outspoken opponent of the health care overhaul law, and Wednesday's announcement was in line with his previous decision not to create a state-run marketplace for insurance providers, instead letting the federal government do it.

So far, six Republican governors have agreed to the Medicaid expansion, while fourteen have turned it down.

Nationally, 19 states plus the District of Columbia appear to be on track to expand their Medicaid programs, although some governors are encountering opposition from their state legislators. Another 17 are weighing their decision.
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