Rogues Gallery

The Governors Opposing Obamacare: Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, and More (Photos)

After the Supreme Court ruled that the Affordable Care Act was constitutional, some governors, most of them Republican, said they will refuse to implement the law’s key provisions in their states.

AP Photo; Getty Images (3)

Texas governor and former candidate for the Republican presidential nomination Rick Perry said he was joining a “growing chorus” of governors when he put his foot down on Obamacare. Yet, as one of the country’s most prominent Republican governors, Perry may be the choirmaster. So far, 11 governors have said that they will not implement key elements of the Affordable Care Act, including the Medicaid expansion and the creation of state insurance exchanges, in their states. Others have said that they’re simply not fond of the health-care-reform law, or have stayed mum. Whether or not the governors will—or can—mount a crusade of any consequence against the law ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court remains to be seen.

The Daily Beast rounds up the (mostly) Republican rogues who want to flatline Obamacare.

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1. Gov. Bobby Jindal – Republican, Louisiana

“We’re not going to start implementing Obamacare,” the Louisiana governor said soon after the Supreme Court handed down its decision on the health reform law. “We’re committed to working to elect Governor Romney to repeal Obamacare.” States are required to have plans for a health insurance exchange in place by January 2013, but Jindal is among those hoping that the White House will have a new occupant by then. “On the exchanges, we’ve continued not to implement the exchanges in Louisiana,” Jindal said. “We’re going to work very hard to get Governor Romney elected so this law will be repealed long before the effective dates.”

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

2. Gov. Scott Walker – Republican, Wisconsin

Walker’s another governor who is putting all his eggs in the Romney basket. “Wisconsin will not take any action to implement Obamacare,” the controversial governor said. “I am hopeful that political changes in Washington, D.C., later this year ultimately end the implementation of this law at the federal level.” The Wisconsin recall survivor has branded the Affordable Care Act a “massive tax increase,” and said that states should resolve the need for health-care reform at the local level.

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3. Gov. Rick Scott – Republican, Florida

Rick Scott said Florida will pass on the Affordable Care Act, thanks very much. “We’re already struggling,” Scott said in an appearance on CBS. “If you talk to citizens, they want a job, they want to make sure their kids can get a great education. Every time we expand Medicaid, we make it more difficult to fund our education system, which is very important to our citizens.” Scott has said that Florida will neither expand Medicaid nor implement the state insurance exchanges, and said through a spokesman that he will work to have the law repealed. “We care about having a health-care safety net for the vulnerable Floridians, but this is an expansion that just doesn’t make any sense,” Scott said on Fox News.

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

4. Gov. Chris Christie – Republican, New Jersey

As if to affirm all clichés, the New Jersey governor cast the mandatory expansion of Medicaid—which was struck down by the court—in terms of a shakedown. “First of all, I was glad that the Supreme Court ruled that extortion is still illegal in America—and that’s a relief because Obamacare on Medicaid to the states was extortion.” Christie, who many hoped might be added to presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s ticket as a vice-presidential candidate, has said that the Garden State will “wait and see” on the issue of the Medicaid expansion for its citizens, and that his administration is making “an analysis on the exchange issue as well.”

Nati Harnik / AP Photo

5. Gov. Dave Heineman – Republican, Nebraska

Heineman had officials look into what it would take to implement a state health-insurance exchange, but after the Supreme Court ruling was quick to tell reporters that he wasn’t interested in going along with an expansion of Medicaid in his state. In a statement, the governor said that the ruling continued the “regulatory nightmare of Obamacare,” and said that it was “now more important than ever that Mitt Romney be elected president of the United States.” Heineman said Nebraskans “have spoken loud and clear what they think of Obamacare,” that he will convene a legislative session dedicated to the issue of health care.

Gerry Broome / AP Photo

6. Nikki Haley – Republican, South Carolina

Haley’s state will opt out of the Medicaid expansion, state Health and Human Services head Tony Keck said. In a letter to the state’s Republican Sen. Jim DeMint, who has asked governors to oppose the law’s implementation, Haley also addressed the other key element of the reform law, saying that, “By refusing to implement state-based exchanges, the state is ceding nothing—we were given very little in the first place and, unsurprisingly, asked to give far too much in return.”

Alex Wong

7. Gov. Terry Branstad – Republican, Iowa

“Obamacare is bad law,” the Iowa governor said before the Supreme Court handed down its ruling. “It’s bad for business, it’s bad for the economy, and it’s bad for our state and other states that are imposed all these additional folks under the Medicaid program.” After the court’s announcement Branstad released a statement reiterating his opposition to the law, saying that “the Supreme Court handed down a disastrous decision to uphold President Obama’s destructive health care law, which means a future of higher costs, higher taxes, and increasing debt for Iowans.” Branstad said that Iowans should follow the example of presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney “in their fight to repeal the law.”

Cliff Owen / AP Photo

8. Gov. Phil Bryant – Republican, Mississippi

Bryant was quick to voice his continued opposition to the Affordable Care Act after it was OK’d by the Supreme Court, calling it an “arbitrary decision,” and saying the health-reform law is “one of the largest tax increases now on the American people in modern history.” According to Bryant, the fact that the law passed the Supreme Court’s checkup just makes the case for a Republican in the White House all the more pressing, and he’s said he’ll look at opting out of the Medicaid expansion. Former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour has also called the Affordable Care Act “the largest tax increase in history.”

Ethan Miller / Getty Images

9. Gov. Brian Sandoval – Republican, Nevada

While Sandoval was not as strident as some others in his response to Obamacare, he expressed concerns over the cost to his state that the Medicaid expansion may represent. “While I may not agree with the Supreme Court’s decision in this case, I respect the process envisioned by our founding fathers,” Sandoval said in a statement after the court’s ruling was announced. “The implications for Medicaid costs are still unclear, but Nevada will prepare to meet the serious financial implications of this decision.”

Alex Wong / Getty Images

10. Gov. Jay Nixon – Democrat, Missouri

Not a Republican, Missouri’s governor has had to walk a fine line as the Affordable Care Act became the law of the land. While he has not yet said that he will join Perry and the others in refusing to implement Obamacare, Tea Party Republicans and other activists in Nixon’s state have made it clear that they would like him to, and in 2010 Missouri voters passed Proposition C, an attempt to earn an exemption from the health care law. Days before the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act, Nixon said, “I think I’ve been pretty clear … that the health-insurance mandate is not something that I think is a good thing.”

Mandel Ngan, AFP / Getty Images

11. Gov. Rick Perry – Republican, Texas

Perry called the Medicaid and health-insurance exchange provisions of the Affordable Care Act “brazen intrusions into the sovereignty of our state” when he sent a letter outlining the Lone Star State’s position on Obamacare to Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius. One might understand how a man who claims to have once shot a coyote with a laser-sighted pistol while out on a morning jog with his dog might tell someone with a pre-existing condition to just walk it off. The state’s Democratic party was not entertained, however, issuing a statement that said the governor’s solution is “to let Texans stay ill and uninsured.”