Gov. Walker: We learned from Romney on health care

(CBS News) As Republicans are on the attack against the health care law after the Supreme Court ruled the individual mandate portion of the law is constitutional, Republicans also defended their presidential candidate who passed a similar mandate while governor of Massachusetts.

After the Supreme Court announced Thursday that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional, Romney lashed out, calling the law - which is similar to law he enacted as governor - "bad policy" and a "job killer," and demanded that it should be repealed.

On "Face the Nation," Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said Mitt Romney's credibility is not at stake on the issue of health care, and said that the Massachusetts governor understands that health care is a state issue.

"I think what he shows is, as a former governor he understands the best place to tackle this is the state level, and he understands you learn from the lessons of other states," Walker said.

While Romney was governor, he passed an individual mandate as the central part of his health care bill, and defined the penalties for those who don't purchase health insurance as a tax - which is how the Supreme Court defined the president's health care law.

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The Wisconsin governor, who recently survived his recall election, said he is not going to implement the health care law right now.

"We're going to wait. We said all along there was a legal step, there's a political step and after each of those steps were exhausted we see what the future holds," Walker said, noting that the election is crucial to the future of health care policy.

"The only chance to repeal that is to put in place a new president, a new Senate majority, and then ultimately repeal the law," Walker said.

Walker said he "learned" from Romney's example in Massachusetts: "In the case of Wisconsin, we learned looking at that state, Massachusetts is a good example, we learned from what we found from our actuarial assessment that we did this past year that it was not a good measure for the state of Wisconsin," Walker said.

The governor added: "We think there's two extremes - that the government mandate you have under 'Obamacare' ultimately is the only way you control health care costs not today but in the future, the ultimate way that would end up leading towards is rationing of health care. I don't think that's a good decision." Walker said. "On the other end, I and plenty of other governors would like to go down the path of a free market solution that engages me and every other consumer of health care in being a more active participant in controlling our health, not just our health care costs."

When asked by host Norah O'Donnell if Walker "would support a federal law that prevented discrimination for those with pre-existing condition," Walker said "some of those issues can be addressed federally and at the state level."

Walker said the "first thing" he did as governor is pass "health savings accounts." He also said he there "should be more done for transparency."

"We need a system that's more transparent so you are actively involved in those health care decisions," Walker said.

  • Leigh Ann Caldwell On Twitter»

    Leigh Ann Caldwell is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.

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