With the 2018 re-election campaign staring him in the face and the Democratic upset in Wisconsin’s 10th Senate District, Wisconsin’s Republican Governor Scott Walker is pivoting to the center on healthcare. After demonizing the Affordable Care Act since its inception and his refusal to accept the Medicaid expansion that it provides, suddenly the governor wants to use state and federal funds to stabilize the ACA marketplace in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin plans to seek federal permission to cover expensive medical claims for health insurers on the marketplace, which should lower premium increases and could bring back companies that dropped out, the governor said in an interview with reporters on Friday ahead of his election-year State of the State address Wednesday.
The state will also ask to permanently continue SeniorCare, a prescription drug program Walker has previously sought to pare down, he said.
This awkward turn in position is due to his listening to constituents as he’s toured the state:
“Health insurance — the biggest thing I hear from people across the state when I’m in listening sessions and sit-downs and discussions, is stability — that’s the biggest thing people are concerned about,” Walker said.
And of course this moves him dangerously close to the Democratic position and can it possibly steal some of their thunder?
Walker’s proposals aimed at stabilizing the state Obamacare marketplace is the latest plan he has put forward that reflects long-held priorities of Democrats, who begrudgingly said they would likely support the health care plan but called his recent proposals insincere and aimed at winning re-election in November.
And of course he is wrapping this all up neatly as a Wisconsin value…but governor…healthcare has been a Wisconsin value and concern since the state was established…why did it take you so long to get on board with it?
“I don’t think those are Democratic issues — those are Wisconsin issues,” he said.
There is one really strange thing going on in Madison though. Currently ACA prohibits insurers from disallowing enrollees who have preexisting conditions. Apparently the State Assembly has already passed a Democratic bill to insure that individuals in Wisconsin couldn’t be denied insurance because of preexisting conditions…and he is urging the State Senate to follow suit.
And while he’s at it the governor should take our suggestion to accept the Medicaid expansion too: Governor Walker Should Accept the Medicaid Expansion NOW!
Will miracles never cease?
If you want to read the governor’s press release you’ll find it HERE!