Walker: Medicaid Keeps People From ‘Living the American Dream’

Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin is doing his level best to pander to the far-right voters who determine many of the Republican primaries in the presidential campaign he so badly wants to win by criticizing states who have expanded their Medicaid programs under Obamacare. Because getting health care apparently kills the American dream.

Walker has recently leveled some criticism at other GOP leaders for accepting Obamacare’s optional Medicaid expansion, saying they shouldn’t necessarily trust the government to come through with the federal funds to cover the policy. During an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Friday, Walker was asked whether his position stemmed from an “ideological criticism,” and if he believes the handful of Republican governors implementing this provision of the health law are not “genuine conservatives.”

The governor didn’t explicitly answer that question, pointing out that every state has different needs. But he did offer a broader criticism of the public health program.

“Beyond that, I just ask the basic question: Why is more people on Medicaid a good thing?” he said. “I’d rather find a way, particularly for able-bodied adults without children, I’d like to find a way to get them into the workforce. I think ideologically, that’s a better approach, not just as a conservative, but as an American. Have more people live the American dream if they’re not dependent on the American government.”

Yeah, nothing helps someone “live the American dream” like not being able to treat chronic illnesses, being denied preventative medical care and having to declare bankruptcy to get rid of their medical bills if they are seriously injured or sick. And guess who benefits the most from the Obamacare expansion of Medicaid? The working poor, who have low-paying jobs without health benefits.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Sastra

    I wonder what the tipping point would be for how many needy people go without so that one person who “coulda joined the workforce” doesn’t get benefits. 9 genuine sick to 1 cheater? 19:1? Higher?

    Surely nobody would be so cold as to allow 999 desperate citizens to go without the help they really need just so someone who “claims they have a bad back” has to get off the couch and get a job … would they?

  • lordshipmayhem

    When I hear shit like this, I’m grateful to be living in a country with government-provided health care. It’s not perfect, but it has the American so-called “system” beat all hollow.

  • Mr Ed

    Can we be sure he wasn’t practicing to be Ebenezer Scrooge.

    “Surely Mr Walker you would not deny them basic health care”

    “are there no overcrowded emergency rooms, are there still potters fields?”

  • John Pieret

    I’d rather find a way, particularly for able-bodied adults without children, I’d like to find a way to get them into the workforce

    Really, Gov.? How many of the entry-level jobs you are talking about provide medical coverage as a benefit? For that matter, how many of them provide a wage that would keep those people from being eligible for Medicade?

  • http://aceofsevens.wordpress.com Ace of Sevens

    For my ex-girlfriend, the American dream was to get married and be a housewife and spend her time with cats and babies and Netflix, but that won’t happen because she died at 29 from a heart attack, which probably wouldn’t have happened if she had access to medical screenings, but she was poor & diasabled with emergency care only.

  • vmanis1

    Scott Walker is `pro-life’, right?

  • John Pieret

    Ace of Sevens:

    I know it won’t help much but … my condolences.

    Maybe, if we keep working at it, we’ll someday live in a country that cares more for people than an ideology that never worked well in the first place.

  • tbp1

    Do these people really think there is a job with health insurance just waiting for anyone wiling to work? Or do they just pretend they do?

  • briandavis

    Walker has recently leveled some criticism at other GOP leaders for accepting Obamacare’s optional Medicaid expansion, saying they shouldn’t necessarily trust the government to come through with the federal funds to cover the policy.

    That’s a reasonable fear now that Walker’s GOP buddies control both houses of congress.

  • D. C. Sessions

    Surely nobody would be so cold as to allow 999 desperate citizens to go without the help they really need just so someone who “claims they have a bad back” has to get off the couch and get a job … would they?

    Make it ten thousand and you have a deal.

  • moarscienceplz

    Sastra #1

    I wonder what the tipping point would be for how many needy people go without so that one person who “coulda joined the workforce” doesn’t get benefits. 9 genuine sick to 1 cheater? 19:1? Higher?

    Well, the Republicans are quite happy to deny tens or even hundreds of thousands of people the right to vote in order to catch even a single fraudulent vote, so I’d say much, much, higher.

  • eric

    “I’d rather find a way, particularly for able-bodied adults without children, I’d like to find a way to get them into the workforce.

    The unemployment rate is currently 5.8%. That’s of job-eligible adults, which is a number considerably smaller than the entire population, but let’s use the entire population just for kicks and giggles. That vast overestimation would put the number of unemployed people at about 18 million. Meanwhile, the number of people without health insurance in the US in September was 41 million. Employment is not the issue. At least, it’s not the only issue and probably not the most important issue.

  • Onamission5

    In my case, Medicaid has allowed me to live, period, if not the American dream. See, I got a nasty intramuscular abdominal infection after my C-section– seems my body hasn’t yet met a suture material it doesn’t treat as an invading army– and without a course of rather powerful and expensive antibiotics, I’d likely have died. Without Medicaid, I’d not have gone back to the hospital so readily for treatment, since I would already have been facing future bankruptcy due to staggering hospital bills from my initial surgery with its accompanying four day hospital stay.

    FWIW, I was working a full time job the whole time I received Medicaid during and after my pregnancy, with the exception of the last few weeks before giving birth and the four weeks of recover after. It’s just that full time hours at barely above minimum wage didn’t pay enough to get private payer maternity care. But ‘sokay, I was just one of the company proles who makes your doughnuts, totally replaceable and not critical to society, it’s fine for me to die from lack of medical care, just means I ought to have worked harder like those politicians and billionaires

  • dingojack

    “Walker: Wisconsin Wanker” (Need one know more?)

    @@

    Dingo

  • theguy

    I voted against Gov. Assclown three times. I shake my head at the roughly half of Wisconsin voters who apparently want this ideology in power.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Look, letting people live holds them back. Imagine how much more they could do with the Specter of Bankruptcy constantly nibbling at their heels? Heck, they could make a game of it; see how long they can put off visiting the dentist for that broken tooth. Now see how long you can delay going to the doctor for that broken leg. See? It’s easy, fun, and it saves me from having to pretend to care about you and your miserable life.

  • jedibear

    That’s funny. I don’t recall the American Dream involving dying of preventable diseases because some rich asshole suspects you might just be lazy…

  • jedibear

    @eric, #12:

    Quick correction, the official unemployment rate counts only qualified workers either working or actively seeking work. It’s the rate of involuntary unemployment, not the rate at which qualified workers aren’t working.

  • smrnda

    Walker doesn’t want people dependent on government, where they might actually have a say. He wants them dependent on their corporate overlords! The rightful feudal lords have been usurped by democratic government!

  • scienceavenger

    This apparently is going to be Walker’s schtick: ignore the immediate problem and talk pie-in-the-sky future. He does the same thing with the minimum wage: “I don’t think it serves a purpose because we’re debating then about what the lowest levels are at. I want people to make, like I said the other night, two or three times that.” What’s next, decrying so many people in hospitals, and asking why we don’t have a plan to keep people healthier?

    Dear supposedly professional media: the next time he does this, say “OK, that is a laudable long term goal. But how do you plan on achieving that, besides ‘cut taxes and hope’, and prior to that being realized, what do you think we should do with all the people suffering?”

  • scienceavenger

    Governor Walker, what should we do about our inadequately funded and equipped fire departments?

    I don’t think that’s very important, we should just try to build houses that won’t burn.

  • kantalope

    I wonder if Mr. Walker has taken advantage of his government paid health care while in office?

  • D. C. Sessions

    Dear supposedly professional media: the next time he does this, say “OK, that is a laudable long term goal. But how do you plan on achieving that, besides ‘cut taxes and hope’, and prior to that being realized, what do you think we should do with all the people suffering?”

    That would be unacceptably partisan.

  • caseloweraz

    Scienceavenger: Dear supposedly professional media: the next time he does this, say “OK, that is a laudable long term goal. But how do you plan on achieving that, besides ‘cut taxes and hope’, and prior to that being realized, what do you think we should do with all the people suffering?”

    That would be activist journalism. Can’t have that, any more than the republic can abide activist judges.

    /sarc

  • caseloweraz

    Walker: “Beyond that, I just ask the basic question: Why is more people on Medicaid a good thing?” he said. “I’d rather find a way, particularly for able-bodied adults without children, I’d like to find a way to get them into the workforce. I think ideologically, that’s a better approach, not just as a conservative, but as an American. Have more people live the American dream if they’re not dependent on the American government.”

    Given the circumstances, that’s not a basic question, it’s a breathtakingly stupid one. And the way he next tries to change the subject — to able-bodied adults without children — is just dishonest. Sure, able-bodied adults by definition are capable of working; and because they don’t have children, they won’t need health insurance at all — until their bodies stop being able. But then they’re no longer able-bodied, so presumably Walker can write them off.

    Of course this is the typical politician’s double-talk. But Walker elevates it to some sort of acme. Here’s a tribute to the greatest Walker-house in Wisconsin.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    This has become standard script among Republicans. See Paul Ryan. Instead of sneering at people on public assistance as worthless parasites, the new strategy is to pretend to care deeply about them as you save them from the horrors of adequate housing, health care, or food. You just have to hope people buy the argument that the poor are better off with less money.

  • felidae

    The tragedy of Walker’s argument is that a substantial percentage of the electorate will cheer and laud him as a man of great ideas

  • scienceavenger

    @26 Absolutely, see this article where you’ll find this gem:

    Heritage Foundation economist Stephen Moore writes “that marriage with a devoted husband and wife in the home is a far better social program than food stamps, Medicaid, public housing or even all of the combined.”

    They then draw the absurd conclusion that taking away the social programs will produce said devoted marriages.

  • lpetrich

    scienceavenger #20:

    This apparently is going to be Walker’s schtick: ignore the immediate problem and talk pie-in-the-sky future. He does the same thing with the minimum wage: “I don’t think it serves a purpose because we’re debating then about what the lowest levels are at. I want people to make, like I said the other night, two or three times that.”

    So Scott Walker wants a de facto minimum wage 2 to 3 times as much as the de jure one? In other words, going from $7.25/hr to $14.50/hr or $21.75/hr.

    Sen. Marco Rubio has claimed the same sort of thing, saying that we ought to aim for $50/hr.

    But if a $10/hr minimum wage is economically debilitating, then a $20/hr one, which Scott Walker claims to want, would cause Great Depression II, and a $50/hr, which Marco Rubio claims to want, one would cause the collapse of civilization, with mass famines and the survivors reduced to medieval technology and subsistence farming.

  • lorn

    The problem here is that you are looking at the wrong American Dream.

    The conservative version of the American Dream is to enjoy the fruits of wealth and power and having the experience enhanced by teasing the unwashed masses.

    What is the point of wealth and power if you can’t gloat and hold it over the little people.

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wVskay0avmM/UY15Vf9Jh1I/AAAAAAAAEvc/7NqFf6f2Ziw/s1600/Turk_official_teasing_Armenian_starved_children_by_showing_bread,_1915_(Collection_of_St._Lazar_Mkhitarian_Congregation).jpg

    Now that’s how the game is played.

  • lpetrich

    scienceavenger #28, Stephen Moore’s argument indicates that we ought to close down all the hospitals. Hospitals are where sick people are, and people outside of hospitals are healthy. Thus, to make everybody healthy, close down the hospitals.