October 31, 2014

Richards blasts proposal to arrest federal health officials

A Democratic state lawmaker says some of his Republican colleagues are going too far, after nine GOP lawmakers recently voice support for legislation that would allow for the arrest of federal officials if they try to implement the Affordable Care Act in Wisconsin. State Representative Jon Richards (D-Milwaukee), the ranking Democrat on the Assembly Health Committee, says such a proposal is “off base” and should not be taken seriously.

While the Milwaukee Democrat admits such a bill is unlikely to gain traction in the state Legislature, he notes that he’s “seen all sorts of things come to pass in the Legislature over the last couple of years that I never thought would come to pass.” He says the proposal is the type of thing “good people of reason on both side of the aisle” should come out and denounce.

AUDIO: Rep. Jon Richards (:17)

If such a bill were to pass the Legislature, it would be unlikely to make it past Governor Scott Walker’s desk. A spokesman for the governor on Thursday said “Walker doesn’t support arresting people for implementing federal law.”

Richards says the statement is a good start, but now the governor needs to take the next step and start implementing the federal health care law in Wisconsin. A key component of that is deciding whether the state will establish its own health care exchange or if it will leave the work up to the federal government. Governor Walker has until Friday to make a decision on the issue.