The Corner

Wisconsin AG Declares Obamacare ‘Dead’

In light of Judge Roger Vinson’s ruling that Obamacare is unconstitutional, Wisconsin’s attorney general, J. B. Van Hollen, has declared the Badger State free of any obligations imposed by the law. “Judge Vinson declared the health care law void and stated in his decision that a declaratory judgment is the functional equivalent of an injunction,” Hollen says in a statement. “This means that, for Wisconsin, the federal health care law is dead — unless and until it is revived by an appellate court.”

Steve Means, a senior official in Hollen’s office, tells NRO that the ruling “effectively takes the health-care-reform bill off of the books.” He adds, “At a practical level it will really be up to the governor and his cabinet to determine what they will do in terms of day-to-day activities.”

As an example, Means offers Obamacare’s stipulation that states maintain their eligibility levels for Medicaid. “Presumably, now that that requirement is no longer in effect, the state could change its eligibility levels and still be within federal law,” Means reasons.

At the same time, the threat remains that the appellate or Supreme Court will reverse the ruling, putting the burden back on states’ shoulders. If that happens, Hollen says he hopes the federal government will give states more time to comply with the regulations. Nonetheless, he maintains, “We’re hopeful that the Supreme Court will affirm the Florida ruling.”

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