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Are Republican Governors as Committed to Repeal as the House?

2:00 PM, Mar 3, 2011 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
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This isn’t the first time that GOP governors’ remarks have failed to inspire much confidence.  Three weeks ago, Indiana governor Mitch Daniels and 20 other Republican governors issued a list of “exchange”-related demands to Secretary Sebelius. In a high-profile Wall Street Journal op-ed, Daniels wrote that, subject to these demands, if Secretary Sebelius “wants Indiana to run [the administration’s] program for it, we will do so.” 

Those demands did not include keeping one cent of the $1 trillion in taxpayer money from funneling into the “exchanges,” or eliminating Obamacare’s “individual mandate” — its requirement that Americans buy federally approved health insurance under penalty of law — which two federal district judges have (and had at that time) struck down as unconstitutional.  Moreover, even though his piece focused entirely on Obamacare, Daniels never once used the word “repeal” or any of its derivatives (or, for that matter, the word “Obamacare” — although the Journal’s editors did, in the title).  Instead, Daniels inexplicably wrote, “Many of us governors are hoping for either a judicial or legislative rescue from this impending disaster…But we can’t count on a miracle.”

Other governors, however, have struck a more determined tone. Emerging from having heard Obama’s speech, Texas governor Rick Perry said, “Pretty much all he did was reset the clock on what many of us consider to be a ticking time bomb.”  South Carolina governor Nikki Haley declared, “It’s not good enough.” She added, “He is still not letting states decide what is best for them. The bottom line is that under his plan, people will drop off private insurance plans from employers and add on to public rolls. That’s not reducing heath care costs; that’s increasing costs. That’s not increasing the quality of health care; that’s decreasing it.”

Hopefully more Republican governors will follow the example of Haley, Perry, and the House of Representatives, and realize that, when it comes to Obamacare, there is only one course of action worth pursuing. That course doesn’t require a miracle. It merely requires some willpower and some determination to lead. 

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