Walker more isolated on Medicaid expansion

By Bill Kaplan

New multiple political shocks left Gov. Walker reeling as the public and more GOP govs. support Medicaid expansion with 100 percent federal funding for three years and 90 percent thereafter:

- Pennsylvania on Thursday became the 9th GOP-led state to embrace Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), with 500,000 eligible to gain health coverage;
- GOP-led Wyoming joined GOP-led Indiana and Utah in negotiating Medicaid expansion with the Obama administration; 
- GOP-led Tennessee signaled that it may submit a Medicaid expansion plan to Washington this fall; 
- Altogether 27 states and the District of Columbia have said yes to Medicaid expansion;

And, the latest Marquette University Poll shows that 58 percent of registered Wisconsin voters support Medicaid expansion. 

Meanwhile Walker doubles down in opposing Medicaid expansion with its generous federal funding, despite a $93 million state Medicaid deficit. The spurned money has been left for other states. Does Walker think the conservative GOP govs. of Arizona, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio and now Pennsylvania (all Medicaid expansion states) are "living in an alternate universe" (Walker's put-down for his Medicaid critics)? 

Moreover, Walker has never explained his contradiction of throwing about 63,000 Wisconsinites off Medicaid and telling them to buy private health insurance on the ACA federal exchange, while he continues to demand repeal of the ACA (about 19,000 of those thrown off Medicaid got private insurance). The nearly 140,000 Wisconsinites (90 percent get generous federal tax credits) who bought private health insurance on the federal exchange would lose big time if the ACA is repealed. 

And, GOP efforts to eviscerate the ACA continue, notwithstanding over 50 votes by the GOP-led House. The House voted to sue President Obama over his executive actions regarding the ACA (shame on all Wisconsin GOP reps. for voting yes). This is a laugh given that the current Congress is the least productive in history. Moreover, Obama has issued a total of 183 executive orders. Compare to Bush (43) with 291 or Reagan's 381. 

And, you can't make this up. The House hired D.C. attorney David Rivkin to handle the lawsuit. Yes, he is the same lawyer for the Wisconsin Club for Growth trying to halt the Wisconsin John Doe probe! The follies continue on all fronts. 

Kaplan wrote a guest column from Washington, D.C. for the Wisconsin State Journal from 1995 - 2009.

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