Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker proposed directing federal subsidies to Wisconsin’s poor and uninsured and allowing them to purchase coverage directly from the insurer, avoiding the online “exchange” created by ObamaCare, or the “Unaffordable” Care Act.
Walker’s idea is rapidly gaining support in the bitterly divided Wisconsin statehouse, which once took center stage on a bitter partisan battle over necessary budget reforms. Thus far, 6 Democrats have crossed party lines and backed Walker’s ObamaCare proposal in the assembly, sending it off to the Wisconsin Senate with large majority support.
There is one hang up, however. Walker’s ObamaCare deprive proposal would still need the Obama administration to approve it before it can go into effect.
“If they don’t approve this, this is ultimately exposing that this isn’t really about access and this isn’t about affordability,” says Walker. “It’s about government playing a heavier hand in these kinds of decisions.”
Walker’s ObamaCare proposal flies in the face of President Obama’s and Democrats’ claim that Republicans but don’t offer solutions on health care. In reality, until the failed rollout of ObamaCare, the media simply refused to cover conservative alternatives to ObamaCare.
“They sure haven’t presented an alternative. If you ask many of the opponents of this law what exactly they’d do differently, their answer seems to be, well, let’s go back to the way things used to be,” the President said in a White House speech December 3.
But many Republican politicians have offered other proposals, including Rep. Tom Price of Georgia and Rep. Paul Ryan, also of Wisconsin.
The Republican plans are generally consumer driven, says Ed Haislmaier of The Heritage Group, a conservative think tank.
“The patient makes choices,” says Haislmaier, unlike a government-centered solution that puts a bureaucrat between Americans and their doctors.
Supporters of the president’s plan say conservative counter-proposals lack the reach of the so-called “Affordable” Care Act, which has proven to be quite unaffordable to the vast majority of Americans.
“I’ve yet to hear a Republican alternative which covers nearly as many uninsured or even half as many uninsured,” says economist Jonathan Gruber. “Or offers evidence-based solutions to the health care cost crisis.”
ObamaCare remains deeply unpopular due to a variety of facts, including a slew of broken promises and un-affordability. It will be a political quagmire for the president and members of his party who are up for reelection if they are seen as blocking any proposal to improve on the fatally flawed law, particularly considering the Democratic mantra has relied upon Republicans supposedly not offering up solutions.
Governor Scott Walker has now done just that, as other Republicans have done, only the governor’s ObamaCare “fix” has received national attention.