Its like being handed a winning $1 billion lottery ticket, then ripping it up and throwing it away. Leaders of the Wisconsin legislature have rejected Governor Tony Evers’ plan to accept one billion dollars in federal money by expanding the Medicaid program. It is one-time money, no strings attached. But Wisconsin won’t be joining 38 other states in accepting the federal money after both the Senate and Assembly called their respective meetings to order, then adjourned just seconds later without taking a vote. If the state were to accept the money, some 91,000 more people in Wisconsin would be eligible for BadgerCare Plus. Republicans don’t like the idea of expanding BadgerCare, thinking it is some sort of Jedi mind-trick from the federal government. But without that federal money, a number of programs won’t get any funding. Governor Evers had proposed using the billion dollars to pay for a number of projects. $100 million would have gone to road repairs. $200 million would have gone to broadband expansion throughout the state. $10 million would have gone to help communities like French Island to deal with their PFAS problem. $2.7 million would have been spent on dealing with the opioid and meth problem, while $151 million would have gone to the state’s rainy day fund. Instead, these programs get nothing, even though the federal government was willing to pay for it. When someone offers a billion dollars with no strings attached, it seems unwise to look a gift horse in the mouth.