WISCONSIN DELLS (WKOW) – Former Governor Jim Doyle has stayed out of the Wisconsin political spotlight since the Democrat wrapped up his second term in 2010. And he addressed his absence at the beginning of his speech Thursday at a State Bar of Wisconsin Luncheon at Wilderness Resort in Wisconsin Dells.
"I used to do give these kinds of talks about 15 times a day. But this is a big deal for me now," said Doyle, adding that he has been speaking more at out-of-state events.
"I just think a former governor should step aside and let new players take the stage," he said. "That's why I haven't talked about a lot here. But I care a lot about health care."
And health care was subject of the former governor's comments at the luncheon.
He focused primarily on the Affordable Care Act upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in June, and the politics surrounding the controversial law.
But afterward, Doyle answered questions about adjacent topics. He expressed surprise that Mitt Romney chose Janesville's Paul Ryan as his running mate, because he sees it as a sign Romney is ready for a debate on Medicare reform. That's a debate Doyle says Democrats have traditionally won.
The former governor gave us some thoughts on Ryan's Medicare voucher plan.
"If you told a senior, 'Look, here's a voucher. Go out into the real world and try to get health insurance and you'll just have to pick up any difference.' That scares a lot of people. And it should. That is not Medicare," he said.
Doyle also took a stance opposite current governor Scott Walker, who has linked Wisconsin's lagging job creation numbers to businesses being uncertain over the future of the Affordable Care Act.
"A wise business person isn't doing that. This is the law of the United States," he said, expressing his opinion that the small business tax credits in the law are under-reported. "I know many, many small businesses that are really supportive of the Affordable Care Act."
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