Legislation would allow counties to accept Medicaid funding - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Proposed legislation would allow counties to accept Medicaid funding

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Citizen Action of Wisconsin and State Representative Melissa Sargent announced legislation Tuesday morning they say would ensure Wisconsin residents can receive vital health coverage.

Eighteen Wisconsin counties and the Wisconsin Counties Association, which represents 71 counties, previously passed resolutions calling for the state to accept enhanced federal Medicaid funds.  After Governor Scott Walker rejected that Medicaid funding, some are calling for passage of this proposed legislation, which would allow counties to go around Gov. Walker and access the federal funds. Sargent announced the bill Tuesday in the State Capitol Assembly Parlor.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports the idea is based on a demonstration project approved for Cuyahoga County in Ohio. However, Ohio later accepted the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion, which covers people up to 133 percent of the poverty level.

When Gov. Scott Walker rejected the Medicaid expansion, he said it could put state taxpayers at risk because the federal government might not be able to sustain its share of the plan. Under his plan, about 72,000 adults making more than the poverty level will lose Medicaid, or BadgerCare, and about 83,000 childless adults under the poverty level will gain coverage. Both moves were set to take place January 1, but lawmakers are expected to, at the governor's request, delay the moves for three months. The Assembly passed the delay and the Senate is expected to take it up soon.

It's unlikely Walker and the Republican-controlled legislature would approve Sargent's bill.

WKOW will have more on the proposed legislation Tuesday night in 27 News at 5 and 6.

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