Issue of the Week: Scott Walker’s Immoral Health Care Reform
No, the Affordable Care Act is not perfect. But under the current political and economic circumstances, it’s the best legislation that could be produced, and we hope that it will be strengthened and expanded in the future.
Unfortunately, Wisconsin isn’t fully participating in Obamacare. Not because of its flaws, but because of its benefits. See, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker hates anything to do with Obama. So to oppose Obama and raise his own political profile—and, of course, toss a bone to his billionaire benefactors and donors in the private insurance industry—Walker devised his own version of health care “reform.”
In his version of health care reform, the governor, the son of a preacher, decided to penalize Wisconsinites who are struggling the most in this economy. That decision is now hitting home. On April 1, Walker kicked 77,000 people off of BadgerCare. These are folks who are barely above the federal poverty line. But Walker thinks that they are best served by the private insurance industry. Make no mistake about it: Walker isn’t looking out for the best interests of Wisconsin’s low-wage earners. He wants to deliver more people into the arms of the private insurance companies so they can make an extra buck.
Walker says these ex-BadgerCare consumers will be able to purchase private insurance on the health care exchange with government subsidies, so everything will work out in the end. But even with these subsidies, low-income people will have to spend much more of their very limited dollars for health insurance and the large private insurance companies will get the subsidies from the government. And, even worse, these consumers will have to pay co-pays and deductibles, which aren’t required in BadgerCare, and they’ll have to pay them out of their own pockets. This will likely be a huge sum—$26 million per year at least, according to new research from Citizen Action of Wisconsin.
This is a huge transfer of wealth from Wisconsin’s “least of us” to insurance companies, another example of Walker’s “trickle up” economy. It’s also another example of Walker’s failure to provide moral leadership for Wisconsin. His anti-Obama health care reform is nothing short of immoral.