In justifying his proposal to “repair” Wisconsin’s current budget deficit by removing collective bargaining rights for public employees, Gov. Scott Walker said the state would remove “close to 200,000 children” from Medicaid-related programs like BadgerCare, in addition to being forced to lay off 6,000 state employees.
Despite previously being “in the bag” for Gov. Walker when he was a candidate and during the initial few weeks of his administration, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s PolitiFact has decided to take a look at Walker’s claim that “close to 200,000 children” could be removed from BadgerCare if Walker’s budget “repair” proposal isn’t enacted.
According to PolitiFact, the federal health care reform law that took effect in March 2010 prohibits states, until at least 2019, from changing their Medicaid eligibility requirements for children, meaning states can’t take Medicaid away from kids who are receiving it. What’s more if a state did cut children from Medicaid, as Gov. Walker asserted he’d do in Wisconsin, the state would then forgo all $6.7 billion of the federal Medicaid funding it received last year.
Here’s PolitiFact’s final judgment on Walker’s claim about dropping 200,000 children off BadgerCare:
Walker said that if his proposal for state employees to pay more for their benefits is not adopted, alternatives such as removing nearly 200,000 children from Medicaid would have to be considered. But that’s a phony alternative. Legally, the state does not have the option to remove kids from Medicaid; Walker acknowledged he did not check before making the statement.
We rate Walker’s statement on Medicaid and kids False.
What, they couldn’t stand to give Walker a “Liar, liar, pants on fire?”