Governor Scott Walker’s stand on health care reform could set the stage for a confrontation with Washington. The Walker administration is choosing not to pursue the implementation of a health insurance exchange under President Obama’s health care reform law, turning down federal grant money. “We have a health insurance cost crisis in Wisconsin, we’ve had hyperinflation. much worse than the national average, and Governor Walker is turning away $38 million we could use to create a competitive health marketplace,” says Robert Kraig, executive director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. He says Walker may be betting on a change of administration in Washington. “This may be part of a strategy to make it harder to implement the law, in order to try to get it repealed,” says Kraig, who attended last week’s Health Action 2012 conference in Washington.
“Stopping the encroachment of ObamaCare in our state, which has the potential to have a devastating impact on Wisconsin’s economy, is a top priority,” said Governor Scott Walker said in a statement last week announcing the rejection of nearly $38 million of Early Innovator Grant funds from the federal government. Walker also announced he would sign an Executive Order to repeal the executive order that established the Office of Free Market Health Care.
Kraig says the action by Walker was all the talk at last week’s conference. “Even people from very conservative states that you would consider to be to the right of Wisconsin, deep red states, are shocked by the behavior,” he says. “It really is stunning.”