(Bloomberg) — Republican governors are balking at adopting key provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a week after Mitt Romney’s defeat dashed their hopes of scuttling the health care reform law.
The state leaders, at a meeting of the Republican Governors Association in Las Vegas, said they’re concerned over costs and regulatory burdens PPACA may impose. Opponents unsuccessfully challenged the law in court and many states delayed implementing it, hoping Romney — who called for the law’s repeal — would win the Nov. 6 presidential election.
“It’s a bad piece of legislation,” Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said at a news conference in Las Vegas Wednesday. “It’s going to have a lot of unintended consequences.”
Obama’s re-election lifted uncertainty over the law, and states now are facing decisions about how to move forward with the most sweeping changes to the nation’s health care system since 1965.
States must decide whether to create exchanges in which consumers can buy subsidized insurance policies beginning in 2014, or have the federal government do it for them. They face a Friday deadline to tell the federal government whether they are planning to create their own exchanges. Wednesday, the Republican Governors Association sent a letter to the Obama administration, asking for more time.
Only 13 states, none led by Republicans, committed before the election to build their own exchanges.
Maine Gov. Paul LePage said he has no plans to set up a state exchange where residents who don’t receive health insurance through their employer can shop for subsidized plans. He plans to cede that power to the federal government.
“I’m not lifting a finger,” he said in an interview. “We’re not going to get involved. We’re going to let Mr. Obama do a federal exchange. It’s his bill.”
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