Bureau says Medicaid expansion would have saved Wisconsin $206 million

CREATED Aug 17, 2014

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A new report says Wisconsin would have saved about $206 million if Republican Gov. Scott Walker had decided to expand Medicaid coverage under the new federal health care law.

Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government would pay the entire cost of expanding Medicaid to cover everyone earning up to 138 percent of the poverty level through 2016. Walker instead extended coverage to adults at or below the poverty level. An enrollment cap previously excluded some of those adults from the program.

A Legislative Fiscal Bureau memo prepared at Democratic state Sen. Jennifer Shilling's request indicates a full expansion would have saved the state $206 million in the current biennium given an influx of federal aid. The state would save $261 million to $351 million over the next biennium.