As Democrats celebrate the Supreme Court decision upholding ObamaCare, several Republican governors, including Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Scott Walker of Wisconsin, said they were refusing to implement insurance exchanges that are supposed to put health coverage within reach for more people. On top of that, the Supreme Court ruled that states can opt out of the health-care reform law's proposed expansion of Medicaid without losing the federal money they're already receiving to provide medical care for low-income families under the program. If GOP governors resist, can they gut Obama's health law?
GOP governors can take a big chunk out of ObamaCare: Twenty-six states took the federal government to court to stop it from forcing them to expand Medicaid under ObamaCare, says George Zornick at The Nation. And now, the high court's ruling makes it "easier for rogue Republican governors to exempt their states from participating in the expansion." If all 26 states opt out, 8.5 million of the 16 million additional low-income people who were supposed to get Medicaid coverage under ObamaCare will be left out.
"Ruling could allow Republicans to deny Medicaid to millions of poor Americans"
But governors can't defeat the law on their own: The governors aren't going to kill ObamaCare by refusing to implement it, says the Washington Examiner. They're just going to ignore it until after the November election, "hoping that the issue will drive voters to dump President Obama" so Romney can kill the law. If Obama wins re-election, the calculus changes, and some GOP governors might go ahead and implement some elements of ObamaCare.
"GOP governors vow to ignore ObamaCare"
Resisting will only increase GOP governors' pain: Republican governors will have to answer to their constituents if they turn away federal money for new programs, says Kate Pickert at TIME. If they refuse to set up ObamaCare's insurance exchanges, due to open in 2014, the feds "will step in, set up an exchange, and run it" for them. Then the governors will have to explain to Tea Partiers why they "inadvertently invited" even more federal control.
"Supreme Court upholds health reform law in landmark decision"