An interesting little exchange occurred recently between Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Congressman Ron Kind which ended with Walker basically sending a “mind your own business” letter to the representative.
To be fair, the topic was Obamacare and that is an issue which one way or another affects everyone—the federal government, states, and every man, woman, and child in the country.
After the first attempt of an Obamacare fix by Republicans failed, Kind called on Walker to expand Medicaid in the state. Wisconsin is one of 19 states which chose not to do so under the Affordable Care Act. “His refusal has cost our state $690 million,” the Democrat from western Wisconsin said.
The suggestion must have rankled Walker a bit as he took the time to write a letter in response to Kind. In parts of the letter, Walker said, “Wisconsin is one of the best states in the nation for access to coverage. We do not need to take the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare.
“The Kaiser Family Foundation shows Wisconsin has no coverage gap. We found a Wisconsin-specific way to cover everyone living in poverty under Medicaid for the first time in state history. For those living above poverty without coverage, we helped transition them into the marketplace. Today, Wisconsin outranks 43 other states for access to coverage....
“Your oversimplified suggestion would use federal taxpayer dollars to shift people from coverage in the private marketplace to a government-run system. This would subject Wisconsinites to the whims of Washington D.C.”
Then Walker opened up with both barrels. He wrote, “As for your advice on budgetary matters, I inherited a $3.6 billion budget deficit when we first took office. Every year since then, we have ended with a budget surplus. In fact, we ended FY 2016 with a positive general fund balance of $331 million, and it is expected to grow to $453 million by the end of FY 2017....
“In contrast, when you first took office in January 1997, the federal debt was $5 trillion. Today, the federal debt is approaching $20 trillion. In your first campaign for Congress more than 20 years ago, you stated lowering the nation’s debt would be one of your top priorities. Having stated these facts, I trust you will understand the humor I find in receiving budgetary advice from a member of Congress who is asking me to have Wisconsin taxpayers buy into Obamacare, which itself has increased the federal deficit by billions upon billions.”
—Mark Sherry