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PICKET: GOP Governors to ignore Obamacare

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Since the U.S. Supreme Court released its ruling upholding the obamacare mandate as a tax, governors are either reaffirming or publicly stating for the first time they will not comply with the health care law in their states. Republican Governors appear to be banding together and ignore the latest Supreme Court decision and at least wait until after the November elections.

Hoping the latest action of the high court court will push more voters to Romney, these governors are gambling that President Barack Obama will not be in the White House, the GOP will keep the House, and at least 51 Republicans will be in the Senate next year to repeal Obama’s health care law through budget reconciliation..  

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, a Republican, told CBS Face the Nation on Sunday that Wisconsin would not implement the health care law:

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.”

Florida Governor Rick Scott, a Republican, also said he would not follow the healthcare law passed by the Democrat led Congress in 2010. According to NBC Miami

Florida Gov. Rick Scott now says Florida will do nothing to comply with President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul and will not expand its Medicaid program. The announcement is a marked changed after the governor recently said he would follow the law if it were upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Florida is not going to implement Obamacare. We are not going to expand Medicaid and we’re not going to implement exchanges,” Scott’s spokesman Lane Wright told The Associated Press on Saturday. Wright stressed that the governor would work to make sure the law is repealed.
Scott told Fox News the Medicaid expansion would cost Florida taxpayers $1.9 billion a year, but it’s unclear how he arrived at that figure.

Scott said the state will not expand the Medicaid program in order to lower the number of uninsured residents, nor will Florida set up a state-run health exchange, a marketplace where people who need insurance policies could shop for them.

“We care about having a health care safety net for the vulnerable Floridians, but this is an expansion that just doesn’t make any sense,” he told Fox host Greta Van Susteren.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, a Republican, said on a GOP governor’s conference call that his state will continue to not implement the health care law as well. Yahoo News reported:

The Supreme Court upheld President Barack Obama’s health care law on Thursday, but Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a possible Republican vice presidential contender who has refused to establish a federally mandated health care exchange in his state, said Friday that he will continue to ignore it.

“We’re not going to start implementing Obamacare,” Jindal said during a conference call with Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. “We’re committed to working to elect Governor Romney to repeal Obamacare.”

Under the Affordable Care Act, states must set up a health insurance exchange program by Jan. 1, 2014, and will receive grants from the federal government to implement it. Several Republican governors, including both Jindal and McDonnell, have put off setting up the exchanges in the hope that the law will be repealed or struck down by the Court. Now that the law has been upheld, Jindal said he won’t change course and is looking to presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to lead the repeal effort if he takes office in 2013.

“Here in Louisiana we have not applied for the grants, we have not accepted many of these dollars, we’re not implementing the exchanges,” Jindal said. “We don’t think it makes any sense to implement Obamacare in Louisiana. We’re going to do what we can to fight it.” 

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About the Author
Kerry Picket

Kerry Picket

Kerry Picket, a former Opinion Blogger/Editor of The Watercooler, was associate producer for the Media Research Center, a content producer for Robin Quivers of "The Howard Stern Show" on Sirius satellite radio and a production assistant and copy writer at MTV.

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