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Evers' health agency leaders dedicated to Medicaid expansion

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The leader of Wisconsin's Department of Health Services says Gov. Tony Evers' administration is dedicated to convincing skeptical Republicans to go along with Medicaid expansion, calling it a critical part of the agency's plan to address health care needs across the state.

Secretary-designee Andrea Palm told reporters Tuesday that the agency's budget is "fundamentally anchored in the expansion of the Medicaid program." Palm says she is working to sell the plan across the state with health care providers, consumers and Republicans who control the Legislature. Republican leaders oppose expansion.

State Medicaid director Jim Jones said at a Wisconsin Health News panel there is no "plan B" if Medicaid expansion is rejected. He says doing that makes $1.5 billion available to spend on other health needs.

Jones says, "We are willing to work with anyone to get to yes."

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