Ever since the Supreme Court upheld the health care act last Thursday 5-4, Republicans have been wailing and railing against the measure, pledging to do everything in their power to get Mitt Romney elected and repeal Obamacare on day 1. Many of them have come across as unconcerned about ultimately replacing the bill. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky), for instance, said that the 30 million uninsured were “not the issue”.
One of the key provisions in Chief Justice John Roberts’ ruling was giving states the individual power to participate in the expansion of Medicaid, which would mean that the federal government would give free money to provide health insurance to poor people. Many governors, in knee-jerk fashion, have proclaimed they will refuse the expansion, which Ezra Klein calls a deal “too good to refuse.”
Here are the politicians who are refusing the deal.
Gov. Rick Scott (Florida)
# Uninsured: 3,795,000 (20.9% of state population)
“Floridians are interested in jobs and economic growth, a quality education for their children, and keeping the cost of living low. Neither of these major provisions in ObamaCare will achieve those goals, and since Florida is legally allowed to opt out, that’s the right decision for our citizens,” Gov. Rick Scott said in a news release.
Gov. Bobby Jindal (Louisiana)
# Uninsured: 762,000 (17.4%)
“I think this is a huge mistake for the country, certainly for the state of Louisiana,” the governor said. “We need to do everything we can to repeal Obamacare.”
Gov. Rick Perry (Texas)
# Uninsured: 5,783,000 (23.8%)
Spokeswoman Lucy Nashed: “Gov. Rick Perry has no interest in fast-tracking any portion of this bankrupting and overreaching legislation. We will continue to call for the full repeal of the bill.”
Texas has the greatest number of uninsured residents in the country.
Gov. Scott Walker (Wisconsin)
# Uninsured: 521,000 (9.4%)
Gov. Scott Walker said his state will not start implementing the law until after the November election, betting on a newly-elected Mitt Romney to repeal the bill.
Gov. Nikki Haley (South Carolina)
# Uninsured: 750,000 (16.8%)
From Nikki Haley’s Facebook page:
“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.”
Gov. Terry Branstad (Iowa)
# Uninsured: 255,000 (8.6%)
“We’re opposed to it and we’re not going to have any part of it,” Branstad initially said of the Medicaid expansion following the Supreme court ruling. This Monday he softened his tone and said it was “doubtful”.
Gov. Dave Heineman (Nebraska)
# Uninsured: 210,000 (11.9%)
“As I have said repeatedly, if this unfunded Medicaid expansion is implemented, state aid to education and funding for the University of Nebraska will be cut or taxes will be increased,” Heineman said.
All well and good, except for the fact that the federal government is funding the program in its entirety until 2020, and 90% of it after that date.