Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Under Walker's Medicaid 'Policy,' Distance From Obama Is Priority #1

With a re-election campaign already underway and dreams of national office besting pal Paul Ryan dancing in his head, our ideologically-driven and Tea Party luvin' Gov. Walker has found fresh makeup to highlight a more moderate political image:

Health care for low-income people.

There's a compassionate conservative for ya.

Walker wants - - and will get kudos - - from talk radio and rest of the far-right by saying "No" to full state participation in federally-funded Medicaid expansion, much as he said "No" to the Amtrak expansion with guaranteed federal funding - - 'Federal Funding Bad' - - while adding just enough people to BadgerCare so as not to be a total heartless ghoul.

The Journal Sentinel is saying:

Gov. Scott Walker will not pursue a full expansion of the state's BadgerCare coverage as foreseen under the federal health care law and will seek instead a middle path that retains some of his long-standing opposition to the federal law even as some Republican governors have relented in recent days. Walker is expected to make the announcement at an event Wednesday.
Which Walker explained in his trademarked and curious word-salad style:
...in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Friday, Walker signaled that he would be unlikely to take the full expansion but was interested in a middle path on dealing with Medicaid. 
"I think there's more than just a black or white," he said. "I think there's variations."
It appears I was on the right track last week when suggesting here that when Gov. Walker dealt with a looming deadline about Medicaid expansion it would be first as a way to separate from Obama-Who-Can-Never-Be-Give-Any-Credit, and then secondarily, after the strategic and political considerations, as a substantive policy issue:
An editorial in the La Crosse Tribune explains all the policy and people reasons why Gov. Walker should take additional federal funding available under Obamacare to expand Medicaid in Wisconsin.

Problem is, this is Scott Walker we're talking about - - a 100% partisan and strategy obsessive who will see the decision as he did with the federally-funded Amtrak expansion: a self-interested method of dissing public services and distancing himself from President Obama. 

In other words, as a political opportunity to cozy up to the right fringe that listens to talk radio, votes in primaries and likes its party tea as strong as possible.  

Would that I be proven wrong. I'd love to admit it.

2 comments:

Gary Ott said...

Part of the problem here is that Democrats too rarely point to a simple economic principle that makes expanded health-care coverage an obvious choice; the more people who are able to pay for health care, so less of this overhead is passed along to the insured. Insuring everyone, by the very "market-driven" principles always invoked to oppose health care reform, WILL drive down costs for everyone.

Anonymous said...

I wish the reporters on the issue would stop repeating Walker's words about this being a 'middle path.' There is nothing middle about it. What the Gov. is proposing is to SAY NO to any real BadgerCare expansion and to roll our award-winning Medicaid system backwards by throwing anyone above 100% of the poverty line, aka working parents, into the insurance exchanges where they will pay high premiums (for them) to receive the categorically worst possible coverage. Walker is, in essence, defeating Obamacare by keeping our healthcare system trapped in the last century.