MADISON — Democratic Gov. Tony Evers said Thursday he will "fight like hell" to expand Medicaid in Wisconsin, even though Republican legislative leaders plan to kill his proposal next week.
Evers and Democrats vowed at a news conference to save the proposal and called on voters to pressure Republicans to compromise. They cited public opinion polls that showed a wide majority of support for Medicaid expansion.
"We're not giving up," Evers said.
The Republican co-chairs of the Legislature's budget committee on Wednesday said they will remove his Medicaid expansion plan and a host of other Evers priorities in a single vote next week. They've long opposed expanding Medicaid, even as some Republican lawmakers say they're open to compromise.
Republicans plan to kill most of Evers' major proposals, including Medicaid expansion, raising the minimum wage and legalizing medical marijuana.
Evers proposed all of that and more in his two-year state budget. But Republicans who control the Legislature's budget-writing committee say they will vote next week to remove all of those items and more from the proposal.
Evers has pointed to public opinion polls showing broad support for legalizing medical marijuana and accepting the federal Medicaid expansion. Evers' budget is built around taking that money, which frees up $1.6 billion for other health care spending.
Republicans have been clear since he introduced the budget that much of it would be rejected.