Saturday, November 13, 2010

HIC To Scott Walker: Did You Even Read The Law?

A few days ago, Scott Walker, Goobernator-Elect, made some brash and bumbling demands of Governor Doyle's administration in their final few weeks of being in office.

Among Walker's attempts at power grabs was a demand for Doyle to freeze any progress towards preparing for new health care legislation, even though that law is still in the legislative process and couldn't be implemented until 2013 at the earliest.

The Health Information Campaign took note of Walker's absurdity and felt compelled to give him a national level smack down for his ignorance and arrogance (emphasis theirs):
The Health Information Campaign (HIC) asked Governor-Elect Scott Walker to promise to learn the health care law before he proceeds with plans to challenge it. Walked exhibited ignorance of the health care law and it implementation, in a letter he sent to the Wisconsin Department of Administration Secretary Daniel Schooff. In the letter, Walker who will not actually assume office until January 3, 2011, called sitting Governor Jim Doyle's administration to freeze implementation of the federal health care law.

"Scott Walker has made no secret of his plans to oppose the Affordable Care Act but, there are still 43 days until he actually has the authority to govern," said HIC spokesperson Erikka Knuti. "His request that the state halt its implementation of a federal law is unprecedented and inappropriate. More troubling, it demonstrates an embarrassing lack of knowledge about the actual health care law.

"Walker needs to hit the books, and use the next 43 days to get properly briefed on the issues," Knuti continued. "He needs to learn the law before he acts, and wait his turn before he governs. Wisconsin can't afford to go back to the days when people worried about losing their coverage or going bankrupt if they got sick. Acting without the facts will do real harm to real people."

In his letter, Walker specifically mentioned freezing the establishment of health care exchanges that would allow individuals to purchase insurance. What Walker didn't know before he sent his letter is that the health care exchanges, require state legislation to set-up, and do not take effect until 2013 at the earliest.

If a state fails to set up an exchange by January 1, 2014, the Secretary of Health and Human Services will establish and operate an exchange in the state, either directly or through an agreement with a nonprofit entity. Funding to establish exchanges will be available to states from 2011 until 2015. (Kaiser Health Foundation)

This is shaping up to be a long four years. But on the bright side, I won't have to go far for blogger fodder.

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