Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) explained on Sunday that he had refused to accept $119 million in federal money to expand Medicaid health care services for the poorest residents of his state because he loved taxpayers.
"I don't think the measure of success in government is how many people are dependent on government," Walker told Fox News host Chris Wallace. "I want them to no longer be dependent because we empowered them to get good jobs, family-supporting careers in the private sector. And that's part of our philosophy."
The Wisconsin governor claimed that his government had found a way to cover 224,000 more people even without taking the federal money.
Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) argued, however, that Walker had effectively turned down $4.4 billion over a decade because of a political disagreement.
"These Republican governors have, because they don't like the president, because they want to make a political point, are hurting their constituents," Shumlin noted.
"Cause I love the taxpayers," Walker shot back, arguing that the federal government would eventually break its promise to the states. "I don't want to put them at risk."