Republican Governors Defying Supreme Court’s Ruling
Despite the Supreme Court ruling last week to uphold most of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, several Republican governors throughout the country have declared that they will not comply with Obamacare.
The defiant governors have so far been using delaying tactics to avoid implementing the health care act’s requirements in the hope that the Supreme Court would nix most, if not all of the law’s demands. Now that the Supreme Court has sided with the bulk of the Obamacare legislation, the renegade governors have set their sights on November and the possibility that Mitt Romney will be elected as president, and that he will be able to repeal Affordable Care.
The governors made their views known on a conference call with the Republican National Committee. Nikki Haley, Bobby Jindal, Bob McDonnell and Rick Perry defiantly stated that they are prepared to continue the fight, ignoring White House statements that they are prepared to implement the law without the cooperation of the governors.
Cannot Be Forced
Jindal and McDonnell announced that they cannot be forced to implement state-based health insurance exchanges which Obamacare demands.
Governor Jindal said, “Here in Louisiana, look, we refused to set up the exchange. We’re not going to start implementing Obamacare. We have not applied for the grants, we have not accepted many of these dollars, we are not implementing the exchanges, we don’t think it makes any sense to implement Obamacare in Louisiana.”
Waiting for Election
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie stated on his monthly call-in radio show that he will veto any state laws that would create a health insurance exchange in New Jersey, as he has already done in the past.
“I am in no hurry to do that, and especially because we have an election four months away,” Christie said when asked if he would allow a state exchange to be created. “If there are any hard deadlines that New Jersey has to comply with or be in violation of the law, we’ll comply with it. But I don’t think you are going to see any of those things between now and November.”
Tough Decisions in Virginia
In Virginia Governor McDonnell avoided answering in a direct way any questions about whether he would lead his state to creating a health exchange. Virginia already has passed legislation which authorizes the creating of an exchange although the exchange has not yet been created. McDonnell rather told reporters on the RNC conference call that Virginia has some hard decisions to make.
“Each state now needs to decide whether or not it makes sense to enact its Medicaid expansion, which of course comes with a cost of a real hit to Medicare as well as the very likely flight of people from small-business policies now into a government-run Medicaid program,” McDonnell explained.
Spokesman for Governor Haley of South Carolina, Rob Godfrey said that his state “already made the decision not to implement an exchange.”
Texas Governor Rick Perry is equally defiant. Spokeswoman for Perry, Catherine Frazier said that Texas “has absolutely no interest in accelerating the implementation of Obamacare” and has no intention of creating a health insurance exchange.
Feds Will Do It Without the States
All this defiance has not dulled the Obama administration from its plan to have the Affordable Health Care Act implemented in all fifty states. Officials representing the White House stated clearly that they are prepared to create health insurance exchanges state-by-state anywhere that politicians refuse to cooperate, completing the job by 2014.
“We intend to work with any state that’s moving forward to set up a model, whether it’s a state-based exchange, a partnership with our federal exchange … or operating a federal exchange within their state,” stated the interim director of the Health and Human Services Department’s Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, Mike Hash.
Secretary of HHS Kathleen Sebelius said that those in opposition to health care reform need to accept and cooperate to implement the law.
“What we can’t afford to do is spend any more time refighting political battles or go back to the time when insurance companies operated without accountability,” Sebelius said.