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PolitiFact Wisconsin: Did Walker turn down $1 billion in Medicaid funding?

Posted at 10:04 PM, Jun 15, 2018

Who would say no to $1 billion? A Democrat running for governor says Governor Scott Walker did when it comes to Medicaid money. PolitiFact Wisconsin checks out that claim.

State Representative Dana Wachs is one of 10 Democrats running for Governor. In April -- Wachs launched an attack on his potential opponent -- Scott Walker.

'Wachs says that Governor Walker has turned down one billion dollars in Medicaid money," said Tom Kertscher with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Wachs was referring to additional federal money available under the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, for states that expanded Medicaid - meaning covering more poor people. 

Walker did turn it down for two reasons.

"He didn't trust the federal government and to continue to providing states additional money for it," said Kertscher. He also said he thought Medicaid should be limited to people at the federal poverty level rather than people who make a little bit more than that."

PolitiFact Wisconsin looked at the numbers and found that additional federal dollars would have covered the expansion.

However, Gov. Walker did do what's called a 'partial expansion'. That allowed people at the poverty level to be eligible for Medicaid for the first time in state history. 

The upshot of the governor's decision is that the state, over a five year period, is spending about one billion dollars more on Medicaid than it would have if it took the extra federal money.

Because the numbers are an estimate -- but Wachs' statement is accurate -- PolitiFact Wisconsin rated his claim 'Mostly True.'