Republican governors like Scott Walker have vowed to violate federal law if healthcare is upheld by the Supreme Court, by refusing to take action as is the law. Ignoring the looming November 16 deadline for states to submit plans for their health insurance exchanges, Walker is going to wait for the “next president” and Congress to repeal it.
The Post Crescent reported:
Walker, an outspoken critic of the law, originally said in January that he would not begin setting up the state’s health insurance exchange required by the law until after the court ruled. Earlier this month, the Republican governor went even further, saying that if the law is upheld he will not do anything until after the election, hoping that the next president and Congress will repeal it.
Only after those two fail would Wisconsin “figure out some alternative within the state,” Walker said in a statement released by his office this week.
Hubris, or does Walker know something about the upcoming election that we do not?
This, coming from the man who has already tangled with the feds over his massive Medicaid cuts, is concerning for the people in his state. Luckily, the feds refused to approve the most egregious of Walker’s proposed Medicaid cuts, which would have cut 29,000 children from Medicaid.
17,000 people are losing Medicaid and 30,000 will have to pay more money in Wisconsin but Scott Walker has found millions to rescue himself from his bad policies. So much for the poor and disabled of Wisconsin. I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to give up their meager Medicaid benefits in order to assist Walker with his recall election. They’re probably just grateful those evil feds stepped in to stop Walker from his original plan, which was to cut off 65,000 people, including 29,000 children. This is the pro-life Governor’s policies in action.
Yes, it’s much better to waste money on Walker’s pretend cuts to pension funds that now appear to cost the state 87 million dollars than to provide health insurance to over 30 million Americans in a manner that the CBO says will save us money and allow folks with pre-existing conditions to actually purchase health insurance. It’s called fiscal conservatism, doh.
Remember that healthcare reform bill that Republicans said was too long to read? Well, Scott Walker is a great example of what happens when laws are rushed through. The bills might be short enough for a Republican to read, but because of this, they fail to address the complexities of change. I know, it sucks, but we actually do pay these people and their aides to do stuff like reading bills.
Walker was warned when he charged through with his pension changes that were supposed to save the state oodles of cash, “Laws that alter the complex retirement system should be examined carefully before enactment.” In light of recent events, those words should haunt Republicans but sadly, they seem to lack the ability to feel shame or embarrassment.
Adalia Woodbury broke it down for us:
There was a little noticed provision in Walker’s centerpiece legislation, that will boost employee benefits in the state’s retirement system. As a result, Wisconsin’s retirement system costs will increase by $87.5 million. Since we know that Wisconsin’s Republicans would never spend a penny on the workers of Wisconsin, when that money could go to the Koch Brothers and other sugar mommas and sugar daddies, we’re left with facing the reality that no one thought Walker’s centerpiece legislation was important enough to read. Or maybe the state’s retirement system is just a little too intellectually challenging for Wisconsin’s Republican Party. It isn’t as if the Koch controlled Republicans weren’t warned, as reported by the Wisconsin State Journal.
“The unanticipated costs aren’t a back-breaking amount for the massive retirement fund, but they illustrate why laws that alter the complex retirement system should be examined carefully before enactment,” said Robert Conlin, secretary of the Department of Employee Trust Funds.
As for the willy-nilly, full steam ahead hubris express, Walker cheerleader state Assembly Health Committee Chairman Rep. Jeff Stone (R-Greendale) explains why it’s a great idea for Walker to ignore federal law and the people of his state:
“There’s no way we’re going to do anything between now and the elections anyway on this topic,” Stone said. “We owe it to business in this state, and our own economy, to have some clear direction.”
Yes, well, we wouldn’t want the Walker administration owing anything to the people. Too bad they didn’t wait before enacting his costly collective bargaining debacle. But wasting money is no stranger to Scott Walker, whose gift for hastily passed new “laws” can also be seen in Milwaukee County having to repay public employees for yet another cut Walker arbitrarily made that turned out to be… illegal. That little misstep from the overeager, overreaching Walker is costing the county between 6-9 million dollars, including interest charges for back pay. Fiscal conservative much?
So, really, Walker isn’t dragging his feet on healthcare reform for the economy or a clear direction. If he cared about either, he wouldn’t have passed his own laws so haphazardly in the dark of night, without necessary deliberation and thought.
Ironically and predictably, since Walker is refusing to do his job of setting up health insurance exchanges, which will use the free market principle of competition, the feds will have to step in and clean up after him if the Supreme Court upholds any of the law.
Surely that will look good on his 2016 résumé. Oh, you hadn’t heard? Walker is making noises about running for President. He might make history after all, as the first president since Harry Truman who did not graduate from college. That is, if he doesn’t end up broke from fighting the John Doe criminal investigation for which he has hired two expensive criminal attorneys.
But what’s a college degree worth, anyway? Who needs to learn how to think when Walker has already demonstrated his ability to learn from his mistakes (not)? Heck, it worked for Karl Rove and he never graduated from college either.
Perhaps Walker is the Republican Party’s version of evolution; they get rid of the Yale and Harvard grad masquerading as a Texas cowboy but being run by a thug political opportunist and just go directly with the craven political opportunist who knows nothing about actually governing.
Scott Walker: He breaks the laws he doesn’t like, ignores the ones he can, and passes laws that cause unintentional damage that turn out to be … illegal. 2016? You betcha!
Update: 6.28.11 12:51 PM Walker issued a statement this morning in reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court’s upholding of ACA in which he doubled down on his promise not to implement ObamaCares and called for repealing the federal health care law. Walker said the state will not implement the law until after the November elections.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.