Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) appeared on MSNBC this morning and covered quite a bit of ground, including fielding several questions about health care. Of particular interest was the far-right governor's vision for replacing the Affordable Care Act. Igor Volsky picked up on
a key problem with Walker's position.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) encouraged Republicans on Wednesday to look to the organization that originated the key tenets of Obamacare in developing alternatives to President Obama's health care law. Asked during an appearance on Morning Joe to name a specific Republican solution to providing health care coverage to America's uninsured, Walker pleaded that he's "not in the federal government" before suggesting that conservatives consider policies advocated by the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute.
Ah yes, the Heritage Foundation. Why won't that rascally President Obama turn to the conservative think tank for ideas about how best to reform the health care system?
[T]he punchline is that Obamacare is largely Heritage's own invention.... Look out, donors: the policies you pay Heritage to develop today may be policies you pay Heritage to defeat tomorrow. It's like Victor Frankenstein stumbling over the frozen tundra to defeat the creation he was so proud of but now despises. In this instance Dr. Frankenstein is Stuart Butler, then director of domestic policy research at Heritage and, since 2010, director of Heritage's Center For Policy Innovation.... [H]e developed two central ideas in Obamacare: an individual mandate requiring everyone to purchase health insurance, and expansion of Medicaid coverage to the working poor.
Heritage also promoted
a health care blueprint that relies on exchange marketplaces.
It's one of those nagging details conservatives -- and really, the Beltway in general -- doesn't much like to talk about: the communist, fascist, socialist, freedom-crushing, civilization-destroying "Obamacare" was largely based on a model crafted by a conservative think tank and Mitt Romney. When Walker talks about turning to the Heritage Foundation for help on finding a health care reform plan, he's overlooking the fact that we've already done that and it drove conservatives bonkers.
Incidentally, in the same interview, Walker was asked why he rejected Medicaid expansion in Wisconsin. He replied, "For anyone who says why would you not take it? My answer is simple. I don't wanna expose the taxpayers in my state to the burden that's gonna come due when the federal government reneges on their promise."
So, Walker is prepared to undermine his own state finances, on purpose, hurt state hospitals, and leave struggling families behind because he thinks the federal government, which is bound by law to pay its bills, will someday fail to reimburse Wisconsin for Medicaid.
In other words, low-income families will suffer because Scott Walker is ... kind of paranoid.
It should make for a fascinating 2016 platform, right?