Scott Walker on Health Care



No Medicaid expansion means no waiting list for poor

Q: One way you could potentially deal with your budget deficit is to accept Medicaid money, via the healthcare law. You were critical of Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) taking the money, which is going to make it a lot easier for him to balance his budget, and he's going to end up giving health insurance to a lot of people just above the poverty line. Do you have any second thoughts?

WALKER: No. From our standpoint, we did something unique, unlike just about any other state in the country. For the first time ever, not a person in our state is on a waiting list for people living in poverty. They all have access to healthcare through Medicaid, but those living above it are transitioned into the marketplace and we don't put our taxpayers at risk. States that have taken the Medicaid expansion are betting on the fact that the Congress and the president are going to magically somehow come up with new money. They haven't paid that money for Medicaid even to the states as we speak.

Source: Meet the Press 2014 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 9, 2014

To best benefit economy, replace ObamaCare

[The White House is pushing for extending unemployment benefits] because they want to desperately talk about anything but ObamaCare. The best thing we could do to help people who are unemployed or underemployed is fix ObamaCare, replace it with a patient-centered plan that put people in charge, not the government in charge, and got rid of the uncertainty that so many small businesses here in my state and across the country talk about.
Source: CNN SOTU 2014 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jan 5, 2014

Didn't accept additional Medicaid money from ObamaCare

Q: Walker has written a new book, "Unintimidated: A Governor's Story and a Nation's Challenge." Governor, the overarching theme of this book is that what you've been able to do in Wisconsin should be a model for Republicans across the nation. So let's think about that with respect to health care. You fought the president's health care law in the courts. You also declared that you didn't want any additional Medicaid money from that. But once it was passed you said "it's the law" and you put some of your citizens in to the federal exchange. Is that the model for Republicans--now that the law is passed, work within it and not try these efforts to continue to repeal it?

WALKER: I think long-term a much better option for us here in Wisconsin and across the country is to replace it with something market-driven. But for us, we didn't take the Medicaid expansion. We didn't do a state exchange. But long-term we can't go back to the status quo. What we need to do is go to a market-driven position.

Source: Face the Nation 2013 series of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Dec 1, 2013

Pushed ObamaCare for state choice on Medicaid expansion

Wisconsin joined the lawsuit challenging Obamacare. While I was disappointed that the US Supreme Court upheld the law, thankfully the Court did rule that the Obama administration cannot force states to accept the Medicaid expansion. It would have been fiscally unsustainable and would have added thousands of people to the Medicaid rolls when my goal was to have FEWER people dependent on the government, not more.

But I also wanted to reduce the number of uninsured people in our state. So instead of just simply rejecting the Medicaid expansion, as some governors did, I looked for a way to achieve that goal without putting more people on government health care.

Under our plan, every person in WI who is living in poverty will be covered by Medicaid. We removed the caps Gov. Doyle imposed on the number of participants, while moving some 87,000 people living ABOVE poverty into the private or exchange markets. With our reforms, we are reclaiming Medicaid for those for whom it was intended: the poor.

Source: Unintimidated, by Scott Walker, p.219-21 , Nov 18, 2013

Passed tort reform & cut taxes on HSAs

In my predecessor's last term, WI lost 134,000 jobs, and the state's unemployment rate had reached 9.2%. We needed to start creating jobs again. So we cut taxes on health savings accounts (HSAs), cut taxes on job creators in WI, relieved unnecessary regulation so we could enforce common sense--not excessive red tape--and passed tort reform to stop frivolous, job-killing litigation. Nearly every measure was passed with bipartisan support in both the assembly and senate. We were off to a great start.
Source: Unintimidated, by Scott Walker, p. 41 , Nov 18, 2013

Don't put bureaucrats in charge of personal decisions

We must make quality, affordable healthcare available to hardworking families through market-based solutions like competition, transparency, and tax incentives--not Canadian style programs that put bureaucrats in charge of personal health care decisions. You should be able to choose your doctor, not have government make that decision for you."
Source: Campaign website, scottwalker.org, "Issues" , Nov 2, 2010

The private sector, not mandates, will fix healthcare

Our plan calls for reducing health care costs through market-driven solutions, not by forcing us to buy an expensive health care mandate.
Source: 2010 gubernatorial press release, "Convention" , May 22, 2010

Opposes government-run healthcare.

Walker opposes the CC survey question on government-run healthcare

The Christian Coalition voter guide [is] one of the most powerful tools Christians have ever had to impact our society during elections. This simple tool has helped educate tens of millions of citizens across this nation as to where candidates for public office stand on key faith and family issues.

The CC survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: "Federal government run health care system"

Source: Christian Coalition Survey 10-CC-q5 on Aug 11, 2010

Loosen "one-size-fits-all" approach to Medicaid.

Walker signed Letter to Pres. Obama from 32 Governors

As Governors, we are writing to you regarding the excessive constraints placed on us by healthcare-related federal mandates. One of our biggest concerns continues to be the Maintenance of Effort (MOE) provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which prevent states from managing their Medicaid programs for their unique Medicaid populations. We ask for your immediate action to remove these MOE requirements so that states are once again granted the flexibility to control their program costs and make necessary budget decisions.

Every Governor, Republican and Democrat, will face unprecedented budget challenges in the coming months. Efforts to regulate state operations impose greater uncertainty on our budgets for oncoming years and create a perfect storm when coupled with the current state of the economy.

Health and education are the primary cost drivers for most state budgets. Medicaid enrollment is up. Revenues are down. States are unable to afford the current Medicaid program, yet our hands are tied by the MOE requirements. The effect of the federal requirements is unconscionable; the federal requirements force Governors to cut other critical state programs, such as education, in order to fund a "one-size-fits-all" approach to Medicaid. Again, we ask you to lift the MOE requirements so that states may make difficult budget decisions in ways that reflect the needs of their residents.

Source: Letter to Obama from 32 Governors 110107-Gov on Jan 7, 2011

Other candidates on Health Care: Scott Walker on other issues:
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Page last updated: Mar 24, 2016