Following new reports from the state’s nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau that show Wisconsin could save as much as $345 million by accepting federal funds to strengthen BadgerCare and that Walker plans to delay more than $100 million in state debt payments, the state’s largest newspaper, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, is today editorializing that the governor is wrong on both counts and will cost the taxpayers in the long run.
Walker famously rejected funds to expand Medicaid to score political points with the extreme right-wing as he campaigns for president, even though other Republican governors in Midwestern states like Ohio and Michigan accepted the expansion and even his potential presidential rival New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie did the same. The Republican governor in early caucus state Iowa also worked with the federal government to expand Medicaid for its neediest citizens and save state taxpayer dollars.
The Journal Sentinel writes that, “Walker’s decision cost taxpayers more than $100 million in the current two-year budget. An estimated 84,700 more people could have been covered through BadgerCare had he taken the additional federal money. And for what? To make a political statement. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.”
Walker doesn’t fare any better on his “scoop and toss” budget gimmick that delays more than $100 million in debt payments to help balance the state’s $2.3 billion budget deficit; “This isn’t even a close call. Pay the bills.”
Read the editorial here.