After three years of raging against the ACA/Obamacare, some Republican governors who have vowed to do nothing to aid in its institution and to resist any attempt to implement it in their states have begun to turn on their fellows and accept parts of the plan. Of course they are, for the most part, still trying to maintain their distance by simply renaming the parts they are accepting and claiming that they are their ideas and have nothing to do with Obamacare.
Chris Christie is one of the least hypocritical of them and a Republican who has reached out to work with the President in the past. In accepting the Medicaid expansion provision of the plan he said, “Accepting these federal resources will provide health insurance to tens of thousands of low-income New Jerseyans, help keep our hospitals financially healthy and actually save money for New Jersey taxpayers.” He estimates that it will save the state $227 million in the next fiscal year. He called it, “ the smart thing to do for our fiscal and public health.” He said that he arrived at this decision after considerable research and that it would extend health coverage to an estimated 300,000 currently uninsured state residents.
Rick Perry, the Texas governor, has been one of the most vocal opponents of the law saying on the campaign trail last year that it’s repeal would be at the top of his to do list should he be elected President. He has done all he can to block implementation of any part of the plan, yet now he has found an inventive way to take part without actually taking part. He has decided to implement the Community First Choice program, the part of the plan that Peggy Noonan did not like. Unlike Christie, however, he says that while he is going to accept funds to implement the program which are available only through the ACA, that it “has nothing to do with Obamacare.”
Jan Brewer of Arizona has been another adamant opponent to anything in the law has embraced the “it isn’t Obamacare” argument as well as she formed a coalition with Democrats in the state legislature to ram through her own version of the Medicaid expansion provision while claiming that it has nothing to do with Obamacare. Brewer said, “While I remain opposed to the Affordable Care Act, it has become increasingly clear to me that the status quo is not an option,” describing it as her own plan and saying, “With my Medicaid Restoration Plan, we can continue providing cost-effective care to these individuals — Arizona’s working poor.”
Then we have Rick Scott in Florida who caved to the idea of accepting Medicaid expansion when the healthcare industry in Florida began to pressure him to do it because of the positive impact it will have on their bottom line. Carlos A. Migoya, president and CEO of Jackson Health Systems said, “Anything that provides coverage for our currently uninsured residents certainly advances our community and Jackson Health System’s mission.” The governor, who said soon after taking office that he would not lift a finger to assist in the implementation of any part of the law now says, “While the federal government is committed to pay 100 percent of the cost, I cannot, in good conscience, deny Floridians the needed access to health care,”
You will never catch any of these darlings of the Tea Party admitting that, while the plan is flawed it is the right idea and worthy of being repaired rather than replaced, but they will continue to find inventive ways to accept it while insisting that they would never do so.