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Democratic Sen. Erpenbach wants to work with GOP on Medicaid expansion


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - State Senate Democrat Jon Erpenbach says he’ll talk with majority Republicans to try and work out some sort of compromise on expanding Medicaid.

GOP Governor Scott Walker has refused to accept an increase in federal funds in order to expand the tax-funded health programs for the poor and elderly.

Erpenbach, who’s from Middleton, says he’ll ask the GOP to consider a Medicaid expansion that would expire after a certain length of time.

He announced his intentions Tuesday, at a health care conference in Madison.

The federal government has said that states can either get in or out of the Medicaid expansion at any time in the future. Erpenbach says he knows of GOP senators who are having a hard time accepting the Walker plan.

It would increase the numbers of impoverished people into programs like BadgerCare, while placing those above poverty into the federal insurance purchasing exchanges which begin next year.

Walker’s plan is part of the next state budget which lawmakers will consider over the next four months.

Erpenbach and other Democrats at the conference said the governor’s proposal is motivated by politics, and not what makes sense for Wisconsin.