Scott Walker is Suddenly a Big Fan of Obamacare

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Congressional Republican and gubernatorial candidates are facing the possibility of an electoral wipeout this November and, to that end, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is running into the arms of Obamacare.

If you've paid any attention at all over the past 10 years you're probably aware that Scott Walker believes Obamacare is the work of Satan himself, but he's calling for changes to protect some of the most important features of Obamacare.

He'll never say so himself, but he's also calling for changes to protect Obamacare from Trump.

Walker wants to prop up his Obamacare market with a $200 million program that would compensate health insurers for high-cost patients so they don’t hike premiums for everyone. He also would enshrine some Obamacare protections for people with pre-existing conditions. [...]

"Wisconsin families need stability, especially when it comes to their health care," Walker said in his weekly radio address on Thursday. "Since Washington has failed to act on the issue, Wisconsin must lead."

He and state GOP lawmakers contend their only option is to use a provision of the law to insulate insurers from the expense of high-cost patients — and that way, protect constituents from another round of potentially brutal health care premium increases next year.

What Walker will never say to his constituents is that premiums for families in Wisconsin and many other states have increased because of Donald Trump. Trump has done nearly everything within the power of the executive branch to increase the cost of insurance.

The Trump regime rescinded the cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments that redistributed funds to insurers who cover a disproportionate number of sick patients (Walker wants to restore this) and he has allowed the industry to offer more plans that do not cover essential health benefits or pre-existing conditions. The net effect of his policies is higher premiums and higher costs for the federal government.

At the same time, congressional Republicans also contributed to higher premiums by spending most of a year plotting to kick tens of millions of people off their coverage while finally succeeding in repealing the individual mandate. Repealing the mandate is expected to result in at least 10 million people losing their coverage of which 3 million already have.

Obamacare is still responsible for the coverage of many millions of people, but it's not reaching its full potential and it may not ever again because Republicans have dismantled or weakened key mechanisms that were suppose to permanently broaden the base of coverage.

  • theronware

    There simply is no cure for evil.

  • muselet

    Maybe, just maybe, next time the Ds will stop tinkering around the edges of healthcare policy and enact something bolder.


    • JMAshby

      Funny enough, I think Republican sabotage of the ACA will make something else the only plausible alternative in the future.

      • muselet

        Agreed. It’s another example of Law of Unintended Consequences.


    • Christopher Foxx

      From the article you link to:

      Democrats will be much more ruthless the next time around.

      I doubt he could cite anything in the Democrats’ past that would support that idea.

      • muselet

        You’ll have to argue with Harold Pollack on that one.

        I hope the Ds do propose—and pass—national healthcare in line with every other industrialized country (personally, I like the French system: generous basic benefits paid by taxes, with optional private insurance to cover more expensive eyeglasses and private hospital rooms). It would be a thumb in the eye of the Rs, sure, but it would also be a sensible and humane improvement to how we do healthcare here.

        I’m not holding my breath until it happens.


  • Aynwrong

    These. Fucking. People.

  • In about a month, I won’t have insurance any more and I will be forced to buy from the Marketplace again. I’m dreading it. I get my son’s health insurance via it and I pay about $300 / month for a silver plan. I’m betting that my plan will cost somewhere $800 / month and there’s no way I can afford that now.

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