Gov. Scott Walker’s administration had another “oops” moment when it realized President Barack Obama was re-elected. Walker, who was hoping Obama would be ousted, stalled on implementing Obamacare all these months and now has to get a statewide health care exchange together – by Nov. 16.
Whether or not you agree with Obamacare – which mandates all states must have a public health insurance comparative market so buyers can shop around for which insurance suits them best – this was a negligent move by the Walker administration.
For example, I don’t know if I’m going to get into Microbiology 101 next semester, just like Walker didn’t know if Obama would be re-elected. Since my enrollment is not a sure thing, you can bet I have a contingency plan (Madison Area Technical College, anyone?). The health care of an entire state seems more important than whether or not I’ll be studying bacteria, yet in terms of contingency plans, Walker has squat.
According to The Associated Press, Walker stopped the Affordable Care Act’s march forward in December 2011, pending a Supreme Court ruling he and other Republicans hoped would overturn it. Its constitutionality was upheld, yet Walker still sat on his hands hoping the next president we elected would throw it out. Not only that, but he took a pass on $38 million the federal government was offering the Wisconsin state government to help it implement the law.
And now Obama has been elected, and Wisconsin has a week from the time of this publication to pull together an extensive health care system. However, Walker and other Republicans don’t seem too worried. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Rep. Robin Vos, R-Rochester, said it was “too early to get into” figuring out how to go about recouping. The AP reported Walker echoed this sentiment as well, saying he was sure the state could get an extension: “Even after notifying [the federal government],” he said, “We have until next fall to make modifications as we see fit. … We haven’t made a decision yet.”
Actually, Walker sounds a lot like someone I know – me. That is, when I’m trying to convince myself it’s OK to go to the Plaza and write my paper the next morning. The problem is that even as a college senior, I know it’s wrong to put off something you can do now and save it for later. Yet Walker seems not to realize this. And personally, I wouldn’t even ask my archaeology professor for an extension, much less the U.S. federal government.
I really don’t care what Walker thinks about Obamacare. This is a federally-mandated law. As a state governor, it’s time he complies; it is horrifying he’s pushed it under the rug this long. If you want the federal government not to impose itself upon you, Walker, maybe you should consider pulling your weight.
Taylor Nye (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a senior majoring in evolutionary biology, archaeology and Latin American studies.