GOP Governors Mark Anniversary of Obamacare

Republican governors marked the one-year anniversary of Obamacare today by detailing ways in which the federal healthcare law will damage state budgets and fail to adequately reform the nation’s healthcare system.

Republican governors are also taking to the airwaves this week to discuss the one-year anniversary on national news programs.

RGA Chairman Rick Perry (TX): “Perhaps the most telling development of the year since Obamacare was signed has been the immediate and widespread mobilization of individuals seeking to spare states and citizens from the most painful results of this misguided legislation. In Texas alone, Obamacare stands to cost our state’s taxpayers $27 billion over 10 years starting in 2014, a price tag that will result in painful realities for families and employers of all sizes. I’m hopeful Obamacare will be fully repealed, and we can begin a real dialogue on health care reform in America.”

RGA Vice Chairman Bob McDonnell (VA): “Implementation of Obamacare would cost Virginia two billion dollars over the next decade in unfunded mandates.  We need to improve healthcare in our nation with commonsense, free market solutions, not with federal mandates on the states that take away our flexibility and violate the Constitution.”

RGA Policy Chairman Haley Barbour (MS): “Americans are no closer to affordable healthcare than they were one year ago.  Instead, at this one year anniversary, we continue to learn the ramifications of the law’s many budget gimmicks, bureaucratic hurdles, and expensive mandates for both states and businesses.  In my state, the cost to implement PPACA for Medicaid is $1.7 billion over 10 years, including $443 million in the 10th year alone. This law is expanding broken state Medicaid programs and undoing state-based reforms, pulling tax dollars from other necessary areas like education and law enforcement.”

Gov. Sean Parnell (AK): “At the one-year anniversary of the federal healthcare law, 26 states are currently challenging its constitutionality, the House of Representatives passed its repeal, and half the country is opposed to it. In Alaska, we remain hopeful that it will be ruled unconstitutional, but in the meantime are working at the state level to improve affordability and increase access to healthcare with state resources and without federal entanglement.”

Gov. Jan Brewer (AZ): “In the last 12 months, state leaders have learned the true costs of President Obama’s health care ‘reform.’ Those costs have been meted out to states in the form of unfunded mandates and rigid federal regulations. At a time when states like Arizona are facing historic budget pressures, we need a federal partner willing to provide us the flexibility we need to operate our Medicaid programs in a fashion that best serves our citizens while being fiscally responsible.”

Gov. Rick Scott (FL): “One year later, I remain convinced that Obamacare is bad for patients, businesses and taxpayers.  This ill-conceived policy will force Florida to spend an additional $12.8 billion on Medicaid and add an additional 2.1 million Floridians to Medicaid. Eliminating patient choice, rationing care and implementing the largest tax hikes in American history are just the beginning of the federal mandate’s consequences. I commend Florida’s Attorney General Pam Bondi and the other elected officials throughout the country who are standing up to Obamacare.  This law has already been ruled unconstitutional in Florida.  Now, we need an expedited appellate process to finish the case against Obamacare, and we need the federal government to immediately repeal the taxes enacted to pay for its implementation.”

Gov. Nathan Deal (GA): “With one year of Obamacare under our belts, we can already see mandates crunching our state budget – and the bottom lines of our state’s job creators in the private sector. The worst is yet to come. An anniversary is always a good time to renew our vows, even if we’re vowing to keep up the fight.”

Gov. Butch Otter (ID): “The unprecedented and unconstitutional burden that Obamacare seeks to impose on the American people already is damaging state efforts to implement responsible, cost-effective measures to make health care more affordable and accessible. It’s diverting attention, effort and resources from our own data- and market-driven policy initiatives. That’s why we here in Idaho have taken a stand and will continue to lead the way in pushing back against this unconscionable overreaching of federal authority.”

Gov. Mitch Daniels (IN): “For state governments, the bill presents huge new costs, as we are required to enroll 15 million to 20 million more people in our Medicaid systems. In Indiana, our independent actuaries have pegged the price to state taxpayers at $2.6 billion to $3 billion over the next 10 years. This is a huge burden for our state, and yet another incremental expenditure the law’s authors declined to account for truthfully.”

Gov. Terry Branstad (IA): “President Obama’s health care plan adds to the nation’s deficit, and forces burdensome mandates on states that we cannot afford. In Iowa, this means an additional 100,000 Iowans on the Medicaid rolls at a time when we are facing a $540 million shortfall. Rather than add more burdensome costs, it’s governors who are identifying significant cost savings. I am committed to exploring every possible cost-saving option to help us maximize health coverage for more Iowans and efficiently use taxpayer dollars. One option being explored is the expanded use of generic drugs. Economist Alex Brill recently studied the potential impact of improving the generic substitution rate in Iowa that could save millions of dollars in the Medicaid program.”

Gov. Sam Brownback (KS): “If fully enacted, the Obama Health Care plan would devastate the Kansas budget with unaffordable mandates, threatening every other priority in state government.  As Governor, I have pledged to make protecting the Kansas economy and Kansas jobs a priority.  We continue our call on Congress to repeal and replace the overreaching regulations of Obamacare with legislation that allows Kansas to determine our state’s needs and health care priorities.  Kansas – not Washington – should determine the state’s needs and priorities and then enact our own reforms that increase health insurance choice, competition and coverage while reducing costs.”

Gov. Bobby Jindal (LA): “Obamacare must be repealed and replaced. It is an awful policy that creates enormous financial burdens on states and unfunded liabilities in the Medicaid program.”

Gov. Jack Dalrymple (ND): “There are many aspects of the health care reform bill that are not well suited to the realities of health care delivery in a state like North Dakota.”

Gov. Mary Fallin (OK): “I was proud to be one of the 65% of Oklahomans who voted for and helped to pass an amendment to the Oklahoma constitution designed to block the ‘individual mandate’ contained within the federal health care law. As governor, I continue to offer my full support to our attorney general, who is leading our legal challenge against Obamacare, as well as the national effort to repeal and replace the law.”

Gov. Tom Corbett (PA): “The Federal health care law does not adequately address the costs of health care.  Not addressing medical liability reform to stop frivolous lawsuits and to prevent defensive medicine was a major shortcoming of the law.”

Gov. Nikki Haley (SC): “Whether it’s supporting our attorney general’s constitutional challenge, Senator DeMint’s repeal effort, Senator Graham’s opt-out plan or leading 28 other governors in asking the president to expedite an Obamacare hearing, we have been very clear in South Carolina: we are an equal opportunity opponent of Obamacare – a spending disaster that our state does not want and cannot afford.”

Gov. Gary Herbert (UT): “One year ago, the federal government usurped state autonomy and ignored that several states–the incubators of solutions– had already initiated state-based health system reform. Now the federal government has decreed a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution and has left states to shoehorn the ACA’s dictates into local agencies and budgets.  It’s completely unacceptable that the governors who are responsible for much of the implementation were never invited to the table during development. However, states will continue to exert their authority under the Constitution and will continue to innovate and find solutions to pressing issues like healthcare reform.”

Gov. Scott Walker (WI): “Health reform started with the promise of reducing the cost of health care.  Unfortunately, other than paying higher premiums for health insurance, PPACA holds little gain for the people of Wisconsin.  Hundreds of thousands of people in Wisconsin will lose their current coverage. We estimate that 46 percent of those who will become subsidized under either Medicaid or the new tax credits already have health insurance.  This means that billions of dollars nationally will be spent without increasing coverage.

PPACA is also a threat to our vibrant and competitive private health insurance market in Wisconsin.  Many Wisconsin families will face increased cost in premiums.  Our young people, struggling with the costs of raising their families will see the greatest premium costs in the individual and small group markets.

Wisconsin has long been an innovative leader in health care.  We are already far ahead of what PPACA is supposed to accomplish.  We will continue to press all three branches of government at the federal level to reopen PPACA and deliver authentic health care reform that can gain the support of the states and the American people.”

Gov. Matt Mead (WY): “Wyoming has fully accepted President Obama’s challenge to the states to come up with better alternatives to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. I firmly believe that the best solutions come from the states, and Wyoming has already begun to work on options that not only keep our residents healthier, but also tackle the cost issues ignored in the federal law.”