Walker, Evers continue trading shots on health care, taxes

Gov. Scott Walker and Dem challenger Tony Evers on Sunday continued to trade barbs on health care and taxes as they made their final pitches to voters ahead of Tuesday’s election.

Speaking to backers in Glendale, Walker said it was “outrageous” that Evers was suggesting that protections for those with pre-existing conditions were in jeopardy, calling it “the biggest lie of the campaign.”

Before addressing supporters in Racine, Evers accused Walker of trying to mislead voters. He questioned how Walker could vow to keep protections for those with pre-existing conditions at the same time that he’s backing a lawsuit that seeks to overturn the Affordable Care Act, which now provides them.

“It’s just physically impossible to speak out of both sides of your mouth at the same time. But he’s mastered that,” Evers said.

Speaking to his supporters, Walker pointed to health conditions those in his family face in saying the issue is personal for him.

Walker accused Evers of taking advantage of people with health conditions by telling voters coverage for pre-existing conditions is in jeopardy, which he called “the biggest lie of the campaign.”

“Tony Evers, I find it outrageous, outrageous that you would take advantage of people in their time of need, battling cancer or other diseases, to take advantage of them politically,” Walker said. “We will always cover people with pre-existing conditions in the state of Wisconsin. Period.”

Walker told reporters afterward that he is backing the state’s lawsuit to strike down the ACA because “Obamacare is a mess.”

Walker said Evers has advocated for higher property taxes “for years,” would raise income taxes, particularly on manufacturers and farmers, and pointed to Evers’ comment that “everything is on the table” when asked if a $1 per-gallon gas tax increase was too high.

“Don’t let the last-minute conversion confuse you,” Walker said, “Tony Evers has consistently promised to raise taxes.”

Walker then led the crowd in a refrain of “Tony’s taxes will cost us jobs.”

“We can’t afford that, because that would be a recipe for returning to recession,” Walker said.

Evers has talked about capping the manufacturing and ag tax credit to the first $300,000 of income, which would reduce it to $40 million a year rather than the estimated $334 million for 2018-19. He would then use much of that to cover the cost of a proposal to cut income taxes by 10 percent for middle-class families. He’s also expressed an openness to raising the gas tax.

But he said last week he had no plans to raise taxes and again said that Sunday. Evers said his position has been consistent because he wants to cut income taxes for middle-class families, and his schools budget wouldn’t raise property taxes.

Evers argued he has been consisted in saying he wants to bring people together to address transportation funding, saying the problem can’t be solved if he goes in dictating a solution.

“I’m open. Do I want to have a gas tax increase? No,” Evers said.

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