Gov. Scott Walker, testifying on Capitol Hill about state budget problems, told members of Congress, "The number one thing you can give me, block grant Medicaid."
Walker said that Medicaid, which is a joint federal/state program to provide health insurance to the poor, puts crushing costs on Wisconsin's budget.
Asked to respond to Democratic criticisms that it would lead to devastating cuts to nursing homes and services to the poor, Walker said they predicted the same thing when one of his predecessors, Gov. Tommy Thompson, implemented welfare reform. But his reforms ended up being a model for the national legislation that was eventually signed by President Bill Clinton.
House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has made block granting Medicaid a key to his 2012 budget proposal, drawing a firestorm of criticisms from Democrats all the way up to President Obama.