Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has made protecting Obamacare in his state a top priority for his reelection campaign, a “startling turnabout” for one of the most anti-Obamacare governors in the country, according to Politico.
“Wisconsin families need stability, especially when it comes to their health care,” Walker told listeners on Thursday in his weekly radio address. “Since Washington has failed to act on the issue, Wisconsin must lead.”
The governor has touted an idea to create a $200 million program that would reimburse health insurance providers for high-cost patients, in the hopes of preventing premiums from rising further. Walker would also “enshrine” certain protections covering people with pre-existing conditions under Obamacare. The federal government would cover 75 percent of the funding for the reinsurance program, while the state would provide the remaining 25 percent.
“Even though I may not agree with the Affordable Care Act … until someone decides what to do in D.C., by doing this reinsurance we are actually protecting the taxpayers who would have to keep paying for these increasing premiums,” Republican state Rep. Kevin Petersen told Politico.
Peterson is the co-author of a reinsurance bill that Walker is expected to sign now that it’s passed through the state legislature.
Democrats in the state disagree with the GOP narrative that places the blame for rising premiums entirely on Washington, arguing that Walker and other Republicans undermined the Obamacare markets by repeatedly calling to repeal the law.
“He has the audacity to say he’s going to clean up Washington’s mess? Well no, this is his mess,” Democratic state Sen. Jon Erpenbach told Politico.
“There’s no policy angle here, period,” an unnamed Democratic operative in Wisconsin added, claiming that Walker is attempting to portray himself as moderate after the GOP drive to repeal Obamacare failed with voters. “Health care is a huge issue for voters right now.”