Obamacare questions put Walker in awkward position during tour

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Image from Governor Scott Walker's facebook. Comment: "Spoke with employees @ Torrance Casting in La Crosse (a union shop) as part of our Talk with Walker tour"

The bad news is that some poor schmuck Wisconsinite had to turn to that master of double-speak, Scott Walker, to explain Obamacare.  The good news is the awkwardness. That gives me a glow so cheery somebody’ll think I’ve been dipping into the nog early this season.

“Walker spoke to employees at Torrance Casting as part of his statewide “Talk with Walker” tour, which he says is intended to gather ideas from Wisconsinites across the state.

…Many of the questions concerned the federal Affordable Care Act, putting Walker in the awkward position of explaining the law, which he fought politically and in the courts.”

“One worker worried that the company would opt to pay the new $2,500 per worker penalty rather than supply health insurance, for which he now pays $5 a week. (Owner Bill Torrance assured him that wouldn’t be the case.)

[A small detail: it's a $2,000 per employee penalty if the company drops insurance completely to push employees on Obamacare according to what I can find on the matter and it's for businesses that have 50 employees or more and the penalty is only on each of those employees dropped past the 1st 30 employees... and there's more details but that's enough for now.]

“Walker said he didn’t think that was the intent of the legislators who crafted Obamacare and that the law would likely be tweaked in the coming years.”

I delight in the fact that Walker has to live with the reality that Mitt lost, and Obama won, and Obama’s signature accomplishment – Obamacare – is living on. I am thankful for this.

Scott Walker will cope with the reality but I do wonder about his loyal friends and supporters over at Wisconsin Campaign for Liberty who said last year that if Walker accepted Obamacare here it would:
“Compromise Wisconsin’s sovereignty under the 10th Amendment
Cripple the healthcare freedoms of all Wisconsinites
Undermine this state’s insurance industry
Eliminate private sector jobs”

The only thing I can take seriously out of the pile is the impact on the private sector. From the public health blogs I’ve been reading, it looks like Obamacare is excellent for small businesses, one study shows Obamacare offers about a 4% increase in insurance costs for medium size businesses, and it’s a wash for really large ones.

Yeah. Basically,  it doesn’t add up to the “elimination of private sector jobs”.

And a note on that worker:
The gentleman asking that question who said he pays $5.00/week for health insurance (which is a pretty good deal, eh?) could be one of Torrance Casting’s production workers represented by Local 437 of the Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics & Allied Workers union. Back in 2010 the union went on strike for a couple of days and at that time there were 56 union workers out of a total of about 80 at the company.

I wonder if any of the workers asked Walker if he has any interest in making Wisconsin a “Right to Work (for less)” state –  possibly even mentioned that much-shared video of major funder and recent travelling companion Diane Hendricks begging him to do it.  She was with him at his recent speech in California at the Reagan Library.

Continue reading Governor hears ideas from La Crosse foundry workers over at LacrosseTribune.com.

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