Citizen Action of Wisconsin
Press Release

UW System is Collateral Damage from Walker’s Rejection of Federal BadgerCare Dollars

This headless decision is a disaster not only for health care but also for higher education.

By - Jan 29th, 2015 12:11 pm

Statewide – In response to the news that Wisconsin is now the only Great Lakes state not accepting enhanced federal Medicaid funds, Governor Scott Walker announced to the media Wednesday that he is unmoved by the actions of Republican Governors in surrounding states, and will again leave hundreds of millions of dollars on the table in the state budget that will be released next week.

This headless decision is a disaster not only for health care but also for higher education. The cost to the state budget of Walker’s refusal to take the BadgerCare dollars may be greater than the $300 million that the Governor proposes to slash from the University of Wisconsin System. According to the Wisconsin Budget Project, using number provided by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the refusal to take enhanced federal funds for BadgerCare will cost Wisconsin up to $315 million in the next state budget.

“Not only is Governor Walker’s irresponsible decision to reject federal dollars for BadgerCare forcing thousands to go without vital health coverage, it also causing unprecedented collateral damage to Wisconsin’s world class university system,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “The cost of Walker’s political obsession with undermining health care reform, no matter what the consequences, is now rippling beyond health care and into other vital investments that Wisconsin needs to thrive and prosper.”

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