"The Bottom Line" Goes to Washington, D.C. Part I
Washington, D.C.-- CBS 58 traveled to Washington, D.C. to ask tough questions and get straight answers on the issue of health care reform from Wisconsin lawmakers serving on both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill.
"It's doing a lot of damage to the livelihoods of Wisconsinites," Republican Congressman Paul Ryan told CBS 58's Mike Strehlow during an interview in Ryan's office in the Longworth House Office Building. When asked if he was still intent on repealing Obamacare, Ryan replied, "Absolutely. It's hurting jobs and the economy. And this is why I really do feel we need to repeal this law." When provided with October employment numbers that were far more positive than economists predicted, Ryan said "Imagine how many more jobs we could create if employers didn't have all this uncertainty surrounding them with Obamacare." The Janesville resident and former republican vice presidential nominee admits the fate of the GOP"s health care reform proposals won't be decided under the Capitol dome, but rather at the ballot box. "To really get rid of Obamacare, you have to win some elections."
Democratic Congresswoman Gwen Moore's office is located on the same side of Capitol Hill as Ryan's, but the two couldn't be further apart on the issue of health care reform. The House member from Milwaukee said "There are people who have the honest to God belief that these programs are just socialism," referring to republican efforts to reform Medicare and Social Security. Moore said "I have to give kudos to the republicans' negative campaign. It has taken the focus off the good the affordable care act is offering the general public." Moore encourages Affordable Care Act supporters to stand firm. "Not let ourselves get sidetracked with the noise. Oh, the rollout was bad; oh, these people don't want to be upgraded. These are the people who just don't want Obama to succeed and have a legacy."
Both Senator's Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin agree the affordable care act needs to be fixed, what they differ on is how it should be fixed.
Baldwin admitted she's disappointed with the initial Obamacare numbers and has lost patience with the website, but still believes there is a future for the Law in Wisconsin and in the United States.
She believes that the blow to Wisconsin could have been lessened had Governor Walker accepted federal dollars to set up a state insurance exchange and to expand Badger care.
Walker has since decided to delay removing 77,000 Wisconsinites from the program.
Senator Johnson agrees with Paul Ryan when it comes to a long term goal of repealing Obamacare.
Baldwin called a repeal of the Affordable Care Act irresponsible.
As a short term fix, Johnson proposed a "Like Your Plan, Keep Your Plan" bill in order to fulfill a promise he believes the President lied about.
A similar bill was proposed in the House by Fred Upton of Michigan.
While CBS 58 was in Washington D.C. the President announced he was at fault for not keeping that promise and decided to delay forcing people change their plans for one year.
The Bottom Line is that Wisconsin law makers are aggressively looking for ways to meet Wisconsin family's insurance needs, and Democrats see that as repairing Obamacare while Republicans see that as repealing it.