The nation’s governors launched their weekend gathering in Williamsburg, Va., with a press release touting bipartisanship, but by Saturday afternoon it was clear the Republican and Democratic executives are as divided over the Obama administration’s health care law as the rest of the country.
Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, a Democrat who takes over chairmanship of the group on Sunday from Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, a Republican, said Friday the purpose of the meeting was to share ideas: “Which party or place an idea comes from can matter much less than where an idea can take you when implemented well.”
A day later, he acknowledged that he doesn’t have much in common with the growing number of Republican governors, including Virginia’s Gov. Bob McDonnell, who are considering opting out of the health care law.
“Governor McDonnell and I have fundamentally different approaches to the expansion, and my guess is at the end of the day, he and I are … going to stay where we are,” he told a news conference, according to a Reuters report.
Many of the Democratic governors at the Williamsburg meeting predicted Saturday that Republicans would eventually capitulate and accept federal funding to expand health care in their states.
“The Republicans don’t really mean what they’re saying. If in fact this law is enacted as of 2014, I urge every Republican governor who says they won’t take the money after the election to resign if they end up taking the money,” Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy said, accordign to the Reuters report.