States' reaction to Obamacare gives president dose of his own medicine

The Oklahoman Editorial Published: November 27, 2012
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Oklahoma has joined a growing list of states that won't expand Medicaid or implement state-run health exchanges, two key components of Obamacare. Predictably, the political left argues Republicans are being obstructionist. But why would state Republicans rush to implement a bad law to benefit a president who's made clear he would never do the same if the tables were turned?

Obamacare was rammed through Congress on a party-line vote without public buy-in. Relatively liberal Republicans like U.S. Sens. Olympia Snow and Susan Collins, both of Maine, opposed the bill. So did U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who previously worked with Ted Kennedy on health care issues. The president could have made health care reform bipartisan. He chose not to. Only now does he seek Republican backing.

Thirty states are led by Republicans governors, many with predominately Republican legislatures elected largely thanks to public opposition to Obamacare. For them, Barack Obama's demand that they implement his liberal initiatives is an invitation to commit political suicide. National polling continues to show 50 percent of voters still support full repeal of Obamacare. The U.S. House of Representatives voted more than 30 times to repeal Obamacare; voters responded by returning Republicans to strong majority control. Only opposition to Obamacare has been bipartisan: 34 U.S. House Democrats opposed its passage in 2010, and five even voted to repeal it this year.

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