Tentative deal to extend health care to more Wis. adults - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Tentative deal to extend health care to more Wis. adults

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Gov. Jim Doyle says the state and federal government have agreed in principle on the state's plan to expand the BadgerCare Plus health insurance plan to low-income childless adults.

The state is seeking a five-year waiver from the federal government to offer the program.

However, Doyle cautioned Friday that because of the economic downturn it wasn't clear how quickly the new program could be offered. The state is facing an estimated $3 billion budget shortfall and Doyle has warned that some state government programs will have to be scaled back or cut. He won't release his budget with those details until February.

It was originally scheduled to begin on Jan. 1. Covering an estimated 81,000 adults who meet income requirements, the plan would extend basic health care coverage, including primary and preventive care and generic drugs.

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