BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. (WCCO) — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker brought his presidential campaign to Minnesota on Tuesday, and the Republican candidate outlined a detailed plan to repeal the federal health care law known commonly as Obamacare.
All of the 16 Republican candidates for president are promising to repeal the new law, but Walker is among the few to say what he’ll replace it with.
Touring a screw machine factory in Brooklyn Center, Walker focused on what he said was the growing cost of health care for businesses and workers.
He also blamed fellow Republicans who control Congress for not yet putting an Obamacare repeal on the president’s desk.
“People all across America are fed up with Washington. And I feel your pain. I’m fed up with Washington, too,” Walker said. “We’ve got to repeal Obamacare entirely — lock stock and barrel.”
Walker said he’d abolish the federal health care exchanges and create new tax credits to buy insurance based on age, not income.
He said he’ll put a cap on Medicaid payments and allow consumers to buy insurance policies across state lines.
“It’s all about freedom,” Walker said. “Putting freedom back in the hands of patients and families to make decisions about your health care and about your money.”
Walker also said he’d remove the federal mandate to buy insurance, and preserve coverage for pre-existing conditions, but did not say how.
Reaction to Walker was positive, but non-committal.
“I like the fact that he kind of tells the truth. Isn’t that a novel idea, nowadays?” asked Louisa Greenwald, of Brooklyn Park. “I think that’s a wonderful thing. And if he can do what he says, I’d vote for him.”
Company CEO Steve Wise hosted Walker but said he’s leaning toward another Republican candidate: Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
Wise urged Republicans to focus less on social issues, and more on business, like Kasich.
“If I had to pick out of all the candidates– the dozen or so candidates right now– I think Kasich would be my man,” Wise said.
Reacting to Walker’s visit, Minnesota’s DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin called the Wisconsin governor “a snake oil salesman” and said millions of Americans will lose insurance coverage.
“Speaking out against a Democratic program having a positive impact is Walker’s way of endearing himself to the Koch Brothers and other deep-pocket supporters at the expense of the middle- and working-class,” Martin said.