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Kind: Walker 'almost rooting' for failure of Obamacare

During a listening session in River Falls Tuesday, U.S. Congressman Ron Kind had harsh words for Wisconsin's governor, calling Scott Walker's failure to embrace portions of Obamacare "fiscal malpractice."

"He's almost rooting for failure," said Kind of the Walker administration's rejection of federal Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act and its refusal to develop a state health insurance exchange.

Kind, who represents Wisconsin's Third District in the House of Representatives, met with about 30 constituents in River Falls City Hall May 28.

The congressman said Walker's decision to reject federal Medicaid through the ACA will cost Wisconsin $73.5 million more than previously estimated.

Wisconsin also defaulted to the federal health insurance exchange, rather than setting up its own state-based exchange. The federal exchange will be developed by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The next step is the creation of the exchange, and it will take a lot of work to get enrollment information out to residents to allow them to make their decisions before implementation on Jan. 1, said Kind.

'Equal marriage'

Minnesota is in "a semi-jubilant state" since its legislature legalized gay marriage, but Wisconsin has put up "an almost impenetrable barrier to equal marriage," said Phyllis Golden, asking Kind for his stand on the issue.

Gay marriage, the federal farm bill and the national defense budget were among the other issues raised during the listening session. For more, please see next week's River Falls Journal or Pierce County Herald.

Judy Wiff

Judy Wiff has been regional editor for RiverTown’s Wisconsin newspapers since 1996. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and sociology from UW-River Falls. She has worked as a reporter for several weekly newspapers in Wisconsin.

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