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Well ever since the Supreme Court upheld the “individual mandate” of the Affordable Care Act, some Governors are scrambling to make sure they don’t associate themselves with giving people healthcare.
So let’s take a quick look at the Governor’s who have spoken out against ObamaCare and continue to refuse to implement it. Click the names to go to links.
EDIT: Before you continue, keep in my mind that most of this article was written in late June to early July. Below each quote, we will add an “addendum” on what these Governors are doing now and their reactions. Please enjoy the hypocrisy.
Bobby Jindal – Louisiana
It really raises the question of what’s next, what’s allowable,” Jindal said on a Republican National Committee Conference Call. “Taxes on people who refuse to eat tofu or refuse to drive a Chevy Volt…this whole ruling I think is ridiculous. It’s a huge expansion of federal power.”
Jindal said despite the law being upheld, Louisiana will “not set up an exchange.
Tax Breaks for people who give out exorcisms in Louisiana are still unclear.
Post-Election Update: With the election now over, Jindal has not changed his tune even though he’s trying to position himself as the GOP “Voice of Reason”. Still Jindal continues to play politics over health care.
The Supreme Court’s decision also fails to resolve the fact that the PPACA is simply an unworkable piece of legislation. With incomplete regulations and unrealistic deadlines, States and the Federal government will struggle to have a health insurance Exchange ready for open enrollment on October 1, 2013 that is not beset with major complications for the insurance market and the respective residents of the States. The full extent of damage the PPACA causes to small businesses, the nation’s economy, and the American health care system will only be revealed with time. The State of Louisiana has no interest in being a party to this failure by implementing a state based exchange.
Rick Scott – Florida
We care about the citizens of our state. We know this will be bad for our health care. We want jobs in our state. This is going to put American businesses at an unbelievable disadvantage as compared to businesses around the world.” Gov. Rick Scott, talking to Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren on Friday night
Ahh beautiful Florida. The state where you could lose your right to vote, be denied health care BUT at least there’s still Disney World!
Post Election Update: Hear that sweet sound in the distance? It’s almost a pitter-patter turning into a stomp? Ahh yes, that’s Rick Scott who is now appearing to be backpedaling is prior opposition to Obamacare.
Mitt Romney did not win the election,” Scott told reporters Friday in Washington D.C., hours before he released a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asking for a meeting to discuss implementing the law. “So it’s not an option to repeal Obamacare. So my goal now is: focus on what’s good for our citizens.”
He added: “The official response is going to be: ‘I want to sit down with you. I want to see how we can work together to lower health care costs for Floridians.
This is actually an interesting quote. By mentioning, not only the Romney loss, but by also mentioning “focus on what’s good for our citizens”, several things pop to my head. The main takeaway appears to be, uhh…why is Governor Scott NOW focusing on what’s good for his citizens? Was his gubernatorial career hinging on whether Mitt Romney would be President or not?
Also though, it appears that quote is almost admitting that there was plenty of political posturing going on.
Scott Walker – Wisconsin
Calling it a “massive tax on the people of Wisconsin and Americans”, Governor Scott Walker vowed Thursday he would ignore the U.S. Supreme Court ruling and not implement the federal health care law at least until after the November elections.
“Our hope on Nov. 6 that there will be voters here and across America who see fit to put in candidates for President, U.S. Senate, and the House that will seek to change and repeal that mandate on the American people,” said Walker, a Republican.
Let’s not act like any of us are shocked about this one.
Post-Election Update: Walker is continuing to toe the party line by renouncing the PPACA. Click on the link to find how Walker is basically continuing his existence as a Koch Brother In Training with his thoughts.
However there are some op-eds that are imploring Walker to comply with the law. I doubt it’ll do much but maybe some pressure can be mounted on him? Then again, when has Walker really caved in?
Rick Perry – Texas
Rick Perry in Texas “has absolutely no interest in accelerating the implementation of Obamacare” and will not create a health insurance exchange, spokeswoman Catherine Frazier said.
Maybe he’s still trying to find a way to win Iowa.
Post-Election Update: Still refusing. Perry actually appears to be the leading face of the Governors who refuse to comply with the PPACA. Whenever Rick Perry is your leading voice, you might want to think twice.
Nikki Haley – South Carolina
South Carolina will NOT expand Medicaid, or participate in any health exchanges. We will not support Pres. Obama’s tax increase or job killing agenda. I WILL do everything I can to get Mitt Romney elected and work to strengthen our Senate so that we can repeal this unAmerican policy aimed at moving our country in the wrong direction.
ObamaCare is so un-American that Nikki Haley is going to fight for our Founding Fathers by campaigning for the candidate that championed the individual mandate. Go figure, right?
Post Election Update: Of course again, let it be on the record that Haley still endorsed Mitt Romney.
Terry Branstad – Iowa
Branstad told reporters Monday he would not reconsider his opposition to the expansion, even if it means Iowa would be saddled with more costs. He says he believes that the long-term expenses of the expansion would cost Iowa more.
“Here’s the problem, the federal government has done this again and again: ‘Buy into our program and we’re going to do all these things for you,’ and then it doesn’t happen and then the taxpayers of the state get stuck with it,” he said.
Coincidentally following his statement, Branstad had to be rushed to the hospital after choking on a carrot. It seems the five-term Governor loves the health care he gets.
Post Election Update: Branstad is continuing to showcase that he doesn’t want to comply with the PPACA. However, he does appear to allow some wiggle room (sort of contradicting that he would not “reconsider”) by stating that he wants more information before doing anything.
However, I cannot provide you with a set of timelines or complete details about the exchange until our State receives clear, binding rules from your Department. Forcing an exchange decision on states based on an arbitrary timetable, would be like forcing a consumer to buy a car without knowing the vehicle’s price tag or fuel economy. If forced to make a decision with incomplete information, then I have no choice but to default on some level to a Federal exchange. That is not my preferred path forward.
Sam Brownback – Kansas
On the record, Brownback officials said they still wanted no part of “Obamacare” and “will take no action to implement it.”
Go figure, no word on what Brownback would do to the 130,000 Kansas residents who would benefit from Medicaid expansion.
Post Election Update: Brownback is sticking with his initial word though it did appear that there could be some controversy with his decision as State Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger appeared to be willing to send in a proposal.
Dave Heineman – Nebraska
Gov. Dave Heineman promised Thursday to block any effort to expand Nebraska’s Medicaid program, a key provision of the federal health care overhaul that the U.S. Supreme Court deemed optional for states while upholding most of the law.
The Republican governor told reporters that expanding coverage to at least 100,000 more Nebraskans would drain money from other priorities, such as education, or require a tax increase. He said he has no plans to call a special session to more quickly comply with the requirements of the landmark law signed by President Barack Obama.
“It’s clear it’s now the law of the land,” Heineman said. “We’re going to study this. We’re going to thoroughly review it in light of the changes that occurred today and then make a determination of how we’re going to move forward.
Interesting though, it doesn’t seem like Heineman is “against it” per sae but fully expect him to find any loophole possible to get out of implementing it.
Post Election Update: Again Heineman appears to be the most “cordial” of all the Governors rejecting the PPACA. He also stopped calling the bill “Obamacare”
Whether the state or federal government runs the exchange, all citizens will have the option to purchase private insurance policies through the exchange.
The exchange is to be a one-stop shop, where people can compare and buy private health insurance, get federal subsidies to afford the premiums or enroll in Medicaid if they are eligible.
Under the federal law, states can operate their own exchanges, partner with the federal government on operations or leave the job entirely up to the federal government.
Heineman made clear he is not interested in a partnership, saying such exchanges would be federally controlled.
But he also refused to join those still looking for ways to block the controversial federal law, even dropping his former habit of referring to the law as Obamacare.
“We are very pragmatic at this stage,” Heineman said. “The election’s over.
“How do you implement the Affordable Care Act?” he asked. “Because it’s going to be the law of the land. And so we’re trying to do what we thought was best for the state of Nebraska.
Nathan Deal – Georgia
Deal offers no alternatives to the Georgians without healthcare.
This list will only grow. But let’s not forget that these people are all in the same party that concocted this little thing called the “individual mandate”. Obviously, these politicians can posture seeing as most of them could be out of office by 2014 when states are required to implement the ACA OR their own approved version of healthcare, so all they are engaging in is political theatre.
But the White House is moving on after the Supreme Court’s ruling, now let’s see if the GOP follows suit.
Update #1, July 4th, 2012: Added Nikki Haley’s remarks
Update #2, July 5th, 2012: Added Terry Branstad & Sam Brownback’s remarks.
Update #3, July 5th, 2012 11:55PM: Dave Heineman’s remarks added.
Update #4, November 19th, 2012: Added Nathan Deal and an “update” to the several Governors priorly listed.