State lawmakers closed to hammering out deal on BadgerCare

MADISON (WITI) -- Legislative leaders are hammering out a deal that could lead to a compromise tax cut, more spending on schools, and a decision to reject federal money for Medicaid. But there are rumblings from moderate Republicans who disagree with Gov. Scott Walker and want him to take the federal money.

The federal Medicaid program is administered by each individual state. In Wisconsin, it's known as BadgerCare. The federal health care law set aside millions to expand Medicaid as a way to achieve the central goal of the law -- getting coverage to anyone who needs it.

"The question is, is the federal government going to be there to stand behind it?" asked State Rep. Jeff Stone of Greendale.

Stone says the governor doesn't believe the president's promise.

"When you make a commitment to deliver health care for people, and then the rules change, who are they going to come looking for?  It's going to be the state," said Stone.

State Rep. Mandela Barnes of Milwaukee sees politics at play. He says Gov. Walker rejected the money to appease his conservative base.

"It would be a travesty if we don't accept this money," said Barnes.

There could be a final decision by the Joint Finance Committee as early as Tuesday, June 4th.