WASHINGTON (AP) - The explosive politics of health care have divided the nation, but America’s governors, Republicans and Democrats alike, suggest that President Barack Obama’s health- care overhaul is here to stay.
While governors from Connecticut to Louisiana sparred on Sunday over how best to improve the nation’s economy, governors of both parties shared a far more pragmatic outlook on the controversial program known as “Obamacare” as millions of their constituents begin to be covered.
“We’re just trying to make the best of a bad situation,” said Republican Gov. Terry Branstad, of Iowa, who calls the health-care law “unaffordable and unsustainable,” yet something he has to implement by law.
As governors gathered in Washington this weekend, Republican governors such as Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal and Indiana’s Mike Pence called for more freedom from federal regulations, particularly those related to the health-insurance overhaul. But governors from both parties report that a full repeal of the law would be complicated at best, if not impossible, as states move forward with implementation and begin covering millions of people — both by expanding Medicaid rolls for lower-income residents or through state or federal exchanges that offer federal subsidies to those who qualify.
Republican opposition to the law is the centerpiece of the GOP’s political strategy ahead of the midterm elections. And to be sure, not every GOP leader embraced the inevitability of the law’s implementation.
“I don’t think that it’s so deeply entrenched that it can’t be repealed,” Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said.