My colleague Jeff Anderson has coined a winning slogan for the continuing struggle against Obamacare: “Repeal and replace.” But there’s another R: resist!
Anticipating repeal, governors have significant opportunities to put sand in the gears of Obamacare. Two have recently taken exemplary action:
Nebraska’s Governor Heineman has told his state’s education establishment (i.e. teachers’ union bosses) that the costs of Obamacare will hit their budgets, because the state will have to raid education funding to pay the price of Obamacare. It’s a great way to fragment the big-government coalition that rammed Obamacare through, and is desperate to block repeal.
Minnesota’s Governor Pawlenty has signed an executive order forbidding his bureaucrats from applying for federal grants to set up a state-based “exchange” which would limit people’s choice of health insurance under Obamacare. It’s important not to establish a new politically appointed bureaucracy dedicated to implementing a law that is going to be repealed before January 2014, when the exchanges are supposed to dictate what health insurance people can have.
In California, the pro-single-payer legislature has sent Governor Schwarzenegger a bill to set up an exchange that would likely be the most restrictive in the country. Signing it would create a terrible legacy, and complicate his successor’s ability to resist Obamacare. Instead, Schwarzenegger — and every governor — should follow the example of Pawlenty and Heineman: resistance.