Walker To GOP: Don’t ‘Spike The Ball’ On Obamacare

Relishing Obama's failure could give the impression the GOP is happy some Americans have no medical insurance, the Wisconsin governor warns.

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Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker stands on the North Lawn of the White House before making remarks to the news media, February 27, 2012 in Washington, DC. Walker, a Republican, will probably face a recall election this year, an effort spearheaded in part by Democrats and pro-union supporters in his state.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is no fan of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act. He didn’t accept an expansion of Medicaid or set up a federal healthcare exchange. But he has a message for other Republicans who may be looking to exploit the White House’s political misfortunes: “Don’t spike the ball.”

Speaking to reporters at a meeting hosted by National Review, Walker, a potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate, cautioned his party against being seen as rooting for the law’s failure.

“One of the things I caution Republicans against is don’t run out and spike the ball,” he said. “Don’t relish the fact that Obamacare is not working.”

Walker, the vice chair of the Republican Governors Association who faces a tough race for reelection next year, said GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill should take a page from governors with a focus on outcomes.

“In the end, it gives me no comfort that there are people in my state who will fall through the cracks because of the failure of the federal government kind of puts them in no-mans land,” Walker said, “I think as Republicans, people across America are going to expect us to be as disappointed as they are.”

“I think Republicans need to be careful so that in no way do we look like we’re piling on,” he continued. “Because if you do, my guess is the next move on the left will be to try and seize on it if that were to happen, look, somehow we sabotaged this, that we’re the ones to blame. It’s a ridiculous intellectual argument, but from an emotional standpoint, you can see how it could happen. “

Walker added a criticism of the shutdown strategy advocated by Sen. Ted Cruz last month. “Most of us governors, we’re all for principled fights and things, but we like outcomes,” he said. “We want to see an endgame. We want to see some way to get something done.”

But Walker said Obamacare will be a potent weapon for the GOP in next year’s midterm elections and in the 2016 presidential race. “It’s so important to let the public see first hand what is happening, to make it an issue in the 2014 election, and then presumably two years thereafter,” he said.

33 comments
aztecian
aztecian

...because he knows things will get fixed and be up and running, resulting in the demise of the rethuglikkkan party.

bobcn
bobcn

"In the end, it gives me no comfort that there are people in my state who will fall through the cracks because of the failure of the federal government kind of puts them in no-mans land..,I think Republicans need to be careful so that in no way do we look like we’re piling on,"

Isn't it a bit late for Walker to express his concern for Wisconsinites who are having difficulty getting healthcare?  Or to deny any responsibility for problems in his state?  After all, Walker declined to set up a state-run health exchange or to accept the federal dollars to expand Medicaid in his state as was allowed under the ACA.

profmom
profmom

What infuriates me is that both parties had the opportunity to do the right thing by the American people and fix the fundamental and growing health care problem (e.g., cost, cost burden of the un-insured, elligibility, mandated minimum policy coverage) --- and instead they played politics and/or pandered to the insurance companies.  The incumbants of both parties should be summarily voted out.  They clearly were clueless about what they were creating or sabotaging. Certainly no attempt was made to reign in health care costs or insurance premiums.   

To the dancers-on-the-grave of so-called Obama care: A flawed sign-up web site is not the same as the failure of Obamacare.  The 'care' part has not even begun.  We should be addressing the root cause(s) for why some people lost their coverage (peevish insurers? flawed policies?) and why exchanges are ridiculously high.  FIX THIS and stop making political hay out of what should be a human right to affordable health care.

PaulDirks
PaulDirks

 if that were to happen, look, somehow we sabotaged this, that we’re the ones to blame. It’s a ridiculous intellectual argument, but from an emotional standpoint, you can see how it could happen. “

That's an odd use of the word "ridiculous". Its now synonymous with 'undeniable".

CainPovey
CainPovey

Now, I see what the GOP plan is. ...  March some of their more Rightist minded wannabe's out there and then when someone like Walker speaks if makes him look more centrist. Bait and switch.

barneydidit
barneydidit

So the guy that refused to allow his state to partake in the state exchange option- one that would have given his constituents better access to healthcare coverage, is "sorry" to see that some people aren't able to get coverage? 

He's right, Obamacare is going to be an issue in the 2014 and 2016 elections, but the main issue is going to be- why didn't Republicans cooperate on a state level when they had the chance...and what do they propose as an alternative? When their candidates can't answer either of those questions intelligently, that's going to be a problem. 

jmac
jmac

Between the Cheney sister split on the first page of the NY Times today, and the governors versus Congressmen split in the race for the presidency, this fight is on.    Walker has mentioned that the next GOP nominee has to be a governor.  Fox is already hitting on Kasich in Ohio for expanding the health care program.   

What's a party to do?   They straight-jacketed themselves and there's no Houdini to slip out of the jacket without ripping it to shreds. 

bryanfred1
bryanfred1

@bobcn Why would he need to go the expense of setting up Wisconsin's own exchange when the Feds were going to do it for him?  Also, that 100% Federal support goes to 90% after a few years, costing participating states billions that they already don't have.  Once available Federal funding starts to run short - as it always does with Medicaid, which is why it's increasingly difficult to find doctors willing to work for its reimbursement rates - more and more liability will be pushed to the states.  State expansions of Medicaid are a time bomb.

highlandheart44
highlandheart44

@profmom Why stop at affordable healthcare as a human right?  What about food?  What about clothes?  What about a house? What about a car?  What about a pet?  What about vet coverage for your pet?  What about caskets, graves and funerals?  The consitution states that we have the absolute right to pursue happiness, it does *NOT* say that the government must provide that happiness.  

barneydidit
barneydidit

@profmom Well at least you're not knee-jerk pointing fingers at one party or the other profmom, but the fact is, the Democrat-run House in 09 passed the Public Option for their attempt at health care reform. It was paid for through closing tax loopholes and raising high end earner's rates back (almost) to what they were pre-Bush tax cut levels, it was optional, and addressed the rising cost of health care by not paying doctors by the procedure. By the time the bill got to the Senate, 65% of the country supported this bill. 

What was the reaction by Republicans in the Senate? "This is a big government takeover of your health care, and it's dead before it hits the Senate floor".  So kudos for being more impartial than most, but we wouldn't have the ACA had the Republican party not been obsessed with opposing every single bill Democrats put forward. 

tommyudo
tommyudo

@profmom


"The incumbants of both parties should be summarily voted out."


Let's get serious. That's not going to happen. Most people (like 91%) hate the institution as it presently works, but like their member of Congress. Don't forget about the influence of special interest money in the political process. Trading one group of cowardly House members for a new group will only mean a new group  who will be influenced by the moolah given them by the 1%. The issue is much more complex than changing one group of greedy creeps for another.



Soulice
Soulice

@CainPovey  - bait and switcth..."you can keep you plan" comes to mind.

kdlnola
kdlnola

@barneydidit As usually, you LEFTIST reside "Some Where Over the Rainbow".  The American public keeps telling you in poll after poll they don't want this monstrosity (ObamaCare) yet you can't deal with reality.  Perhaps it's from all your extra-curricular activities that affected your gray matter back in the 70's.  

SrihariYamanoor
SrihariYamanoor

@Soulice @CainPovey Oh, yeah, all the outrage because people can't keep their sub-par plans! My, my. Where were you guys when plans were being canceled all along? 

BobJan
BobJan

@kdlnola @barneydidit and we still got a war that's been going on longer than any other and we keep saying we want out but no one listens. Nobody's dying from Obamacare but they are from the stupid wars that GW started and couldn't finish.

barneydidit
barneydidit

@kdlnola @barneydidit That's just too funny coming from someone who supports the GOP- the very same group that killed the Public Option healthcare reform plan...even though it had 65% public support. What's the Conservative alternative again KD?

hivemaster
hivemaster

@reallife @jmac He won't, and neither will the women or minorities.  Maybe the Young Conservatives at University of Texas will hold another affirmative action bake sale a week before the elections...

You're living in a dream world, not us.  The GOP has lost 5 of the last 6 popular votes in Presidential elections, and wouldn't have the House without some serious gerrymandering.

SrihariYamanoor
SrihariYamanoor

@highlandheart44 @SrihariYamanoor @Soulice @CainPovey Eh? They are sub-par. They do not offer cover for basic needs and insurance companies are always trying to cancel coverage trying to find some obscure reason to do so.

Yes, I would not expect Republicans to vote on anything good, or to offer anything good. That much veracity, can be gleaned, with considerable effort from your otherwise false statement. Enjoy your propaganda. 

highlandheart44
highlandheart44

@SrihariYamanoor @Soulice @CainPovey They weren't subpar plans and they weren't cancelled until Obamacare.  Nice try on trying to blame republicans for the digusting lies your disgusting president told.  No republican voted for this crap plan.  I think only obamaluvers should suffer under this digusting law.  

reallife
reallife

@tommyudo @reallife  You were DUPED by a lying snake oil salesman... and I'm the tool? LOL

You can't admit that you were DUPED and continue to support the charlatan... and I'm the tool? Funny!

You believed him when he told you that you could have health insurance for free courtesy of the rich, or the young, or the healthy, or the "fill in the blank", and now you realize that "somebody" will have to pay for it, and probably that somebody is YOU, but you dont want to see it... and I'm the tool? You should be on the Tonight Show!

And btw common sense is having a market based system, where the consumer decides what's best for him or her, not some bureaucrat in Washington DC whose only goal in life is to preserve his job, and who knows absolutely nothing about what I want, or need, or like. You want the best care? You pay for it. 

You want it for free, wait 8 months for surgery, spend 12 hours at the emergency room, etc, go to Cuba. 

Simple. Even a tool can understand it.



ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

@barneydidit @kdlnola The conservative alternative is Romneycare. Gee, that is what Obamacare is.  Invented by a REPUBLICAN think tank, pushed through by a REPUBLICAN governor in a Democratic state, and put forward in past years by numerous REPUBLICAN leaders but because a Democratic black president did what they were unable to do, suddenly it is bad.

What is  BAD is 40% of the people in the country without any healthcare insurance and people using the ER as their family doctor, running up hosp[ital uncompensated costs that are put on the 60% who have either insurance or Medicare.  

If this was an "exceptional country", both sides would be working to make it right but lately, we have become the cheap bast@rds who stiff the waiter, screw the poor, and kick granny out of the nursing home and yet we call ourselves "christian".  Not like any church I go to!

barneydidit
barneydidit

@Soulice 3wk to 3 month wait time for a specialist soulice? What do you think the wait time in the U.S. is? 3 weeks is on the LOW end for a wait to see a dermatologist. My sister in law is a Cardiologist and she's booked easily 2-3 weeks in advance...and these are people whose hearts may be failing. 

tommyudo
tommyudo

@barneydidit @tommyudo @reallife


What is ironic is that many of those who cry about the  "big government takeover" are those already partaking of Medicare, but they want to deny it to others.

tommyudo
tommyudo

@Soulice @barneydidit @kdlnola 


You fail to take into account that percentage of people that wanted some sort of public universal coverage. So typical of the right wing to slant the story to suit their own ends.

Soulice
Soulice

@barneydidit @tommyudo @reallife sure, if you are ok with a 3wk to 3 month wait time for a specialist or special diagnosis...as you do in Canada per there own system data.

Soulice
Soulice

@barneydidit @kdlnola - you can google it your self, but every single poll on all media outlets showed greater than 51% of ALL Americans did not want the ACA in 2008-2009, not just the right.  Got pushed through anyway.

barneydidit
barneydidit

@tommyudo @reallife But....but you're advocating a "big government takeover" of our healthcare...simply based on the fact that both on paper, and as practiced throughout the rest of the industrialized world...it works.  It's much more rational to dismiss that idea based upon political ideology...then be unable to provide a working alternative...then complain that Liberals are stupid. 

tommyudo
tommyudo

 @reallife 

You're a tool. You want common sense?

Common sense is a Medicare for all plan. No longer should companies have to deal with rapacious for profit insurers. Let  companies compete fairly on a global scale, and get the health insurance companies out of the equation, except as paper pushers to implement a national full coverage healthcare plan. Along the way, put severe price restrictions on medical procedures. Some MDs may leave their practice - good riddance. They will over time be replaced by practitioners who have gone into the field for the right reason - solely to heal the sick. Physicians in other industrialzed countries aren't complaing about their quality of life. This isn't going to happen overnight. It will take a bottom/up push from the public to force pols to do the right thing.

DarleneRitterGoodfellow
DarleneRitterGoodfellow

@reallife @barneydidit @kdlnola What does that even mean? Common sense would dictate that the GOP would be for a system hatched by the Heritage Foundation and implemented by a Republican governor in a blue state to much success but then the last five years happened.

jmac
jmac

@Soulice @hivemaster @reallife @jmac  The GOP took the House in 2010 because few people vote in the mid-terms and they got their base out by saying Obama was going to destroy Medicare (a lie).  

Now the base is eating them alive.  Nobody deserves it more.