GOP governors warn they will not implement health care law
Washington D.C., United States (4E) – Several Republican governors are refusing to implement two main provisions of the federal health care law despite that the Supreme Court has already decided on its constitutionality.
At least 18 GOP governors have indicated that they are considering Medicaid expansion, a move seen to take advantage of one aspect of the high court’s ruling that was favorable to the Republicans. The law previously obliged the states to expand their Medicaid coverage and the federal government can threaten those states that do not oblige. Last week’s ruling by the Supreme Court essentially dropped that provision and took away the ability of the federal government to punish the states.
Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) were among those who have openly defied President Barack Obama and argued that the expansion of Medicaid coverage to the poor will result to a clash between the state governments and health care providers.
In a statement released Sunday, Scott reiterated that Florida will not take part of the Medicaid expansion. Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX), who has been strongly against Obama’s health care reform, has also made it clear that his administration will opt out of the Medicaid expansion.
Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ), meanwhile, expressed her disappointment of the Supreme Court ruling, saying that efforts should be done in order to repeal the law. Republican Andy Tobin, speaker of the Arizona state House legislature, also warned about the possible negative implications of growing Medicaid given the existing issues on the budget and the state’s conservative politics.
Several GOP governors do not just resist the expansion of Medicaid expansion, but they also do not support the move to create insurance exchanges. Under the law, these exchanges are supposed to be in effect by 2014, and are designed to be state-based marketplaces that will regulate insurance plans that will be sold.
Not much progress has been done on that regard in the state level. The Kaiser Family Foundation say that only 15 of the 50 states has so far began setting them up.
On Monday, three congressional Republicans wrote a letter addressed to the governors of all 50 U.S. states that urge them not to proceed with the plan to sponsor government-run health insurance exchanges. Those that signed the letter are Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), and Jim Jordan (R-OH).