Let's say you're a human resources director for a sizable company. You are offered participation in a new federal program that will help you offer health insurance to many more of your workers at a lower cost than what you're paying now to insure fewer.
If you didn't take that deal, how long do you think your boss would keep you around running the HR department? Well, probably long enough to clean out your desk and turn in your parking pass.
Yet that's exactly what Governor Scott Walker and his Republican legislative allies are doing right now.
Under the new federal health care act (Obamacare), states are being offered a deal you wouldn't think they could refuse. They can increase the number of low-income folks covered under Medicaid and the feds will pick up 100% of the cost. In several years, that will shift to 90%, but it's still a heck of a deal.
And Walker along with Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) are turning it down. According to the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, as a result the state will spend another $52 million to insure almost 85,000 fewer people. That's right. Stated another way, these guys could cover 85,000 more Wisconsinites while saving us $52 million.
And Walker and company are the guys who go around saying that government should be run like a business? What business owners wouldn't fire incompetent bunglers like this in a second?
But Walker, Vos and Fitzgerald aren't stupid, so what are they? Ideological extremists. They hate the whole concept of Obamacare so much that it makes them incapable of rational thought. The same disease is what caused Walker to turn back $810 million that would have gone to high-speed rail in Wisconsin (service would have started this month), just so your federal tax dollars could be spent in another state.
But ideological extremism is not an excuse. In fact, it makes it worse. Walker and company would keep health insurance from people who need it, all at a cost to you and I that is much higher than if they allowed them to be insured. And they're doing it not because they don't get it, but because their irrational hatred of Obamacare blinds them to what's best for their state. This is pure malfeasance in office.