Wisconsin uses Affordable Care Act but rejects funding for it: Guy Boulton-Journal Sentinel: Wisconsin's decision last week to challenge a fee imposed by the Affordable Care Act set up a comparison not lost on advocates who support the law.So is Walker saving taxpayers money?
The fee has cost the state about $23 million so far ... Gov. Scott Walker and the Legislature's opposition to the law is projected to cost $678.6 million in state tax dollars through the 2017 fiscal year.That doesn't sound too taxpayer friendly. But as with all conservative ideas, if it's their law, wasting money doesn't matter...it's the principle:
Wisconsin is the only state in the country to use the Affordable Care Act to expand its Medicaid program while turning down the additional federal dollars ... to pay for it.As we all know, Republicans don't like paying for anything. Life is a free ride to them. So what's behind this Walker/Schimel lawsuit that has them so riled up? Let's start with Walker's cockeyed crazy reasoning...remember, this is costing taxpayer $23 million plus $678 million through 2017:
"Once again, we are taking action to protect Wisconsin taxpayers from the adverse effects the Obama administration's Affordable Care Act has on our citizens. This lawsuit is meant to ensure Wisconsinites are not left paying this unconstitutional and coercive tax..."But what's obvious to everyone else is this:
"He's looking for pennies on the floor of his car, when he should be looking at the bags of money in front of him," said Bobby Peterson, executive director of ABC for Health, a public interest law firm.Taxpayers are currently paying about 42% of the Medicaid bill, instead of ZERO and just 10% after that. No, you don't have to be a math genius to figure this one out:
Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government initially would pay the full cost of covering poor people previously not eligible for Medicaid through 2016, with the federal government's share gradually dropping to 90% by 2020.Bullshit: Walker is peddling bullshit with little persistent blowback by the media, who could have stopped this lunacy in its tracks. Notice the word "contend," that allows this bullshit to continue unchallenged:
The Walker administration and others have contended that the federal government eventually will reduce the money available to states through the law because of persistent U.S. budget deficits.This is why Wisconsin isn't getting back every dollar we send to Washington:
The federal government cannot meet its current Medicaid obligations, Laurel Patrick, a spokeswoman for Walker, said in an email ... "We maintain that states should not depend on the use of uncertain federal funds, which is why Governor Walker implemented unique reforms ..." Patrick said.
As of June 30, the state had passed up an estimated $227.6 million available through the law, according to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau. More than $200 million will be added to the tab in the current fiscal year.Walker's biggest problem? An actual law designed to pay for itself:
"He's just completely tone deaf on this issue, and he's not running for higher office anymore," Peterson said of Walker. "He ought to consider going after this money instead of these obscure objections to the ACA. "At some point they need to move on," he said.
The fee on insurance companies was among the myriad taxes imposed by the law to help pay for the cost of expanding insurance coverage. By requiring states to reimburse the insurance companies, also known as managed care organizations, for the fee, the federal government has imposed the taxes on the states, the lawsuit alleges.Putting up the appearance of "looking out for the taxpayer," watch for the Walker's medicine show in a location near you:
Timothy Jost, an emeritus professor at the Washington and Lee University School of Law and an expert on the complexities of the Affordable Care Act, said he doesn't believe the lawsuit has much merit. "The states don't have to participate in Medicaid," Jost said. "But if they do, they have to play by the rules, and this is a pretty garden-variety rule." Jost wrote that the states also pay substantial amounts to cover other federal taxes paid by Medicaid managed care organizations, such as payroll taxes.
"We have and will continue our work to protect taxpayers from the costly consequences of the ACA," Patrick said in the email.