Madison, Wis. (Learfield) - Wisconsin’s Medicaid health care programs for the poor-and-elderly will have a deficit of 214-million-dollars in the current fiscal year. That’s what state Health Services Secretary Dennis Smith told a congressional committee in Washington today. The shortfall has grown considerably in recent months, as the recession and its aftermath forced a growing number of people to get on government care. The Medicaid deficit is about 26-million-dollars higher than it was projected to be in December – and 66-million higher than the estimate from last November. Smith told the House Budget Committee that Wisconsin is not alone, as other states also struggle with growing numbers of cases. Governor Scott Walker said earlier this week that the Legislature will have to fix a deficit in the current state budget that ends June 30th – but he has not said how big the deficit will be. Today’s Washington hearing was the first to be run by the new Budget Committee chairman, Janesville Republican Paul Ryan.
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