After over a year of Gov. Scott Walker waffling and weaseling around his position on Obamacare, one of the resident trolls of the #Wiunion Twitter tag pointed out that Walker, while on the Larry Kudlow Show, finally committed to “repealing” Obamacare.
National Review Excerpt:
GOV. SCOTT WALKER: Well, I think it was good to put attention on ObamaCare, and I’m glad we’re back on that. But I had said back in August, I thought the federal government was too big, too expansive, too involved in our lives and we needed to narrow its focus. But for what’s left and what’s for necessary, it needs to work. We– we should show that we can make it work and that we’ve got a viable alternative to it.
LARRY KUDLOW: You would repeal ObamaCare all-together.
GOV. SCOTT WALKER: Hands-down–
LARRY KUDLOW: All right.
Well, Walker still says, "it needs to work." I'll get back to that statement in a moment. But first, even Kudlow was unsure where Walker stood previously on Obamacare and seemed surprised to nail down a seemingly straight answer.
You’ll recall that for the past year Walker said he wanted to see Obamacare work, thought repealing it was a mistake and as recent as last week, he asked Sen. Tammy Baldwin to join him in an effort to expand Obamacare to all policy holders. Apparently, something changed.
You see, because Walker has no moral bearing or principles to follow when it comes to the welfare of others, he must follow public opinion.
For instance, he wanted to change the local residency rule when he was MKE county executive, but because he didn't think it would fly with the county board at that time, he didn't push the change until he had a board (the state legislature) who would stand with him. More than anything, Walker is afraid of failure and now, at least for the moment, public opinion is trending against Obamacare. So Walker sees another political opportunity and seizes it by saying that he would repeal Obamacare, "hands-down."
Fortunately, public opinion is not permanent. Political winds can change abruptly at any time.
Walker knows the winds will change and when they do, he'll now have all of his bases’ covered on Obamacare. If it fails, he said that it would, and that if left up to him, he would repeal it. If it succeeds, he can say he always wanted it to work and even suggested expanding it at one time. Because no one in the mainstream media has challenged him on any of this, Walker is sitting in a political sweet spot on Obamacare whichever way it goes. To be honest, it's pretty slick if he can keep the wool pulled over everyone's eyes.
The second item on this is what Walker refers to as his "alternative" to Obamacare. The problem is, his state alternative to Obamacare is wholly built on Obamacare succeeding. Everyone knows this. He counted on a working Obamacare system to absorb the 77,000 people over the poverty level he kicked from the state's Badgercare program so he didn't have to accept the billions in aid like other states did to cover those up to 133% of the poverty level. By banking on Obamacare, the state was able to take on another 90,000 or so at or below the poverty level.
So, despite his statement about repealing Obamacare, I still believe Walker desperately wants Obamacare to work ...but only for now. He just doesn't want to be associated with its success because his fringe base is against it and, it's Obama's program.
Plus, he doesn't want anyone to connect Obamacare's expected success to the state's ability to add 90,000 to Badgercare rolls without accepting billions in Obamacare aid. This in fact was expected to be a huge campaign talking point for Walker. He already had it inked that for the first time in Wisconsin’s history, all adults living in poverty will have access to the same level of health care benefits. Fact is: It cannot happen without Obamacare. That's what frosts Walker, he wanted people to think he built it.
Remember, Walker has no genuine state health care based reform, no "alternative" or prototype of his own for the people of Wisconsin.
Again, Walker's current alternative for the state consists of limiting Badgercare enrollees to the federal income poverty level and kicking those above to Obamacare. It's really not a state health care plan at all. For Walker, its a budget decision and a campaign talking point. More accurately, it's a health care plan for his career.
Walker's "viable" national alternative to Obamacare however is a different story. He said this on Hannity the other day.
Fox News Excerpt:
WALKER: It's a free market solution where you don't have it dependent on not only the federal government, not even the state government. You and I and our family should make decisions ourselves, give everybody the same tax incentive whether you buy it through a health savings account, whether you buy it through your employer or you buy it yourself. Everyone should have the same tax incentive out there because then, as consumers of health care, we'd be involved in it.
If left up to Walker on a national scale, he would dismantle all federal and state-based programs and give everyone a tax credit to buy private health care insurance. Period.
What it is, is Paul Ryan's voucher care idea in a nutshell.