There goes Governor Scott Walker undermining the Affordable Care Act again. On Wednesday, the Governor rejected the "ObamaCare" requirement to add more people to the BadgerCare program--and said "No" to an additional $30-Million in Medicaid funding. This follows Walker's decision to let the Federal Government to set up the Health Care Exchanges also required by the new law. You know, it's almost like the Governor wants those responsible for foisting this monstrosity on us to take the fall when it ultimately fails miserably.
Let's start with Health Care Exchanges. Washington mandated them--then tried to push off the cost and responsibility to set up and monitor them to the states. Some governors--who love having even more bureaucracy and control jumped at the chance to set up yet another level of state government. Others--like Governor Walker--told Washington "You are the experts at this--why don't you do all of the leg work and bear all of the expense?" And Democrats howled that Wisconsin's exchanges won't be as good because they were going to be set up by the Obama Administration. Excuse me, but the folks at Health and Human Services are the "architects" of "ObamaCare", how could they possibly not set up the most efficient system that will guarantee the best rates and coverages?
And now with the Governor's decision not to have the Badgercare program bear more of the brunt of the ACA expenses, Walker is again forcing Washington to put its money where its mouth is. All the Governor's decision means is that fewer people will be using Federal funds filtered through the Badgercare program to get their health insurance coverage--and more will be taking their Federal vouchers to purchase health insurance through the Exchanges. The two big differences is that those above the poverty line will likely have more "skin in the game" than those below the line on Badgercare (and having a stake in the game will likely lead to some better lifestyle choices)--and when Medicaid funding is cut in the future to deal with the Federal Deficit Crisis, state taxpayers won't get stuck with the cost of subsidizing the Badgercare program at an even higher level.
And don't buy the arguments that you will hear over the next few days from those upset with the Governor's decision. First off, doing it "Walker's Way" will not mean any fewer people will have health insurance--because the Affordable Care Act REQUIRES EVERY SINGLE AMERICAN TO HAVE HEALTH INSRUANCE!! This is why the Exchanges are there, to allow non-group buyers to purchase policies from all of those companies that will be "competing" for their business. (Remember, that is going "drive down the cost of health insurance"--having to cover all of those people who under the old standards of risk assessment those insurers wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole.)
And then there is my favorite argument: "That money is going to be spent elsewhere anyway". We heard that after Walker told the Feds to keep their $300-Million for less-than-high-speed rail service in the state. That money instead went to California--which needed it, since their moderate-speed rail projects are looking at going over budget by about 100%. So let the Federal Medicaid dollars go to Illinois or California or Massachussetts--which are being buried by debt created by other government programs.
Besides, we all know that "ObamaCare" is designed to fail anyway--so a Democrat somewhere in the future can make a "stronger case" for the ultimate liberal goal of a budget-crushing single-payer system. So why don't we just end the charade sooner than later and just get to what you guys want in the first place?