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Thursday, December 19, 2013

 12:58 PM 

Fitzgerald: Obamacare ‘yanked the rug out from under us’

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald opened the debate on legislation to delay BadgerCare changes by criticizing the Affordable Care Act for creating a “mess” in Wisconsin.

“We have done a pretty good job in Wisconsin of managing health care through this body and the Assembly,” Fitzgerald said, noting that the state, prior to the passage of the law, had one of the lowest uninsured populations in the country.

“I did support, initially, the idea that if you were in poverty … that certainly there should be a place for you to go to find health insurance,” Fitzgerald said, adding that the state’s high-risk pool became “a model for the nation.”

He said lawmakers are in session in late December due to the failures in the rollout of the insurance exchanges under Obamacare, saying congressional Dems “kind of yanked the rug out from under us in Wisconsin” by passing the law.

“We needed them to leave us alone,” Fitzgerald said, predicting that it would eventually be up to states to fix problems with the health care law.

Minority Leader Chris Larson, D-Milwaukee, countered that lawmakers are only in the Capitol today because “the governor wants to thread a political needle.”

Larson said Gov. Walker is attempting to distance himself from Obamacare funding while embracing the exchanges, calling on Republicans to embrace “a third way” and accept Medicaid expansion funding.

“Not having access to health care is a matter of life or death, and that is beyond the inconvenience of a website,” Larson said.

He added that the expansion is projected to create more than 10,000 net jobs, more than any program proposed by “any Republican, any Democrat, and especially by this governor.”


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