MILWAUKEE (AP) — The mayors of Atlanta, Milwaukee and Philadelphia are pushing for their states to expand Medicaid so federally funded health insurance is available to hundreds of thousands of working poor who could lose coverage Jan. 1.
The mayors spoke with reporters Wednesday on a call arranged by the White House.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says Wisconsin's Republican governor is waging an "ideological battle" against the new health care reform law. He says Gov. Scott Walker hesitates to accept federal money to expand the state's Medicaid program, but he gladly accepts federal highway funds.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter says failure to expand Medicaid in Pennsylvania will cause poor people to get sick and miss work, hurting the economy.
And Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed says refusing the expansion funds could cost local public hospitals $100 million in subsidies.