In an editorial at the Washington Post, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker points out that Wisconsin, under his leadership, was able to appropriate $1.2 billion in increasing Medicare spending for his state by “putting in place the long-term structural changes needed to make our budget sustainable” which allows Wisconsin to make sure they take care of their residents who “truly need assistance.” He then goes on to show just how bad the federal policy of Obamacare is in the nation’s laboratories, the States
(Washington Post) The bad news is that, from a practical standpoint, Obamacare will devastate Wisconsin. An actuarial study commissioned by my predecessor, a Democrat, and completed last year found that if Obamacare is implemented in Wisconsin:
- 100,000 people will be dropped by their employer-sponsored health insurance;
- 59 percent of people who buy their own health insurance will experience an average premium increase of 31 percent;
- 150,000 people will stop buying health insurance in the private sector and will instead become dependent on the government and taxpayers;
- Between 2014 and 2019, Obamacare could cost Wisconsin taxpayers $1.12 billion; after all federal aid and tax credits are applied, the state’s portion of the bill will be $433 million; and
- Approximately 122,000 parents, caretakers and pregnant women with an income of more than 133 percent of the federal poverty level will no longer be eligible for Medicaid.
It’s important to go beyond these facts and understand what they really mean for those of us who live in the Badger State. Young people will be hit hard with premium increases. Those between 19 and 29 years old who have individual insurance will experience an average premium increase of $1,631 per year. A family of four that does not qualify for a subsidy can expect a 28 percent increase — from $8,528 to $10,912. For those who are covered by the small-employer group market, the average premium increase will be 15 percent.
Many of those points are intentional per Obamacare. The legislation wants to get people off of their private employer sponsored health insurance/private bought insurance and force them to purchase insurance through the government mandated health exchanges which offer Government Approved plans. You can keep your plan as long as you make absolutely no changes to it. Make a change and you have to go through the exchange. The costs of the plans you keep will skyrocket. And people will be forced to choose plans that are backstopped by the Government, with all the controls and incompetence that government brings.
Overall our federal government should be working to replicate the successes of states like Wisconsin — particularly focusing on those with high rates of coverage. And from a practical standpoint, the federal government should give Medicaid block grants to states. This would allow states to maximize the efficient use of tax dollars and increase private-sector competition while still providing care for those in need.
Increasing access to health care won’t come through mandates, taxes or penalties. Truly improving access for families will require costs to go down. Unfortunately, Obamacare moves in the opposite direction by making insurance more expensive.
Unfortunately, the point of Obamacare is to force people to be even more dependent on a centralized far left bureaucracy that is unresponsive to the needs of the people and incapable of providing service, all while moving the country towards single payer.