In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling, Republicans adamantly opposed to the Affordable Care Act are suddenly being forced to reassess their positions, and take action. Some states — Texas, Florida, Arizona, South Carolina, and Wisconsin — have said they will not yet set up the parts of the health care law that they do not support. Those states will wait, though for what is unclear.
Other state legislators are sucking up their anger at the health care law and getting down to business. States have until January 1, 2014 to set up health care exchange programs for their residents. If they don’t meet that deadline, the federal government will set up the exchange in their stead.
Here are some of the Republicans who are re-charting their course because of the Supreme Court’s decision:
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R): Christie vetoed the health care exchange program that his state legislature set up, saying he would wait until the health care decision came down from the Supreme Court. Politicians speculated that this was a signal to Mitt Romney that Christie was ready to be Vice President. Now that the court has upheld the law, Christie said he will unhappily meet the deadline for the exchanges, much to the chagrin of his right-wing supporters.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R): Snyder will begin implementing the exchanges immediately, though begrudgingly. Michigan Republicans have delayed funding the process for as long as possible, and now, with the clock running down, Michigan may need to seek help from the federal government to implement the law.
Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna (R): McKenna was one of the state representatives suing for Obamacare to be struck down. But this week, he says he is embracing the health care law. McKenna, who is running for governor in Washington, promised the health care exchanges and Medicaid expansion would both be implemented. McKenna has said “[t]here are a number of good provisions in this law that ought to be maintained.”
States are still processing what to do, and many have been silent on what form implementation will take. Other states — those run by Democratic legislatures — are well on their way to implementation and will likely meet the January 1, 2014 deadline.