Scott Walker got schooled today by the Wisconsin Republican Attorney General. AG Van Hollen told Governor Walker that actually, Governor Walker has to comply with federal law and implement Obamacares. Under the Affordable Care Act, states must set up a health insurance exchange program by Jan. 1, 2014, and will receive grants from the federal government to implement it.
Two days ago I told you how Scott Walker had announced he was going to violate federal law by not implementing the Affordable Care Act even if the Supreme Court upheld it. His plan was to just wait until the “next president” repealed it.
After they upheld it, the cheese state cowboy who acts like Bush but is really more Nixon sans the smarts doubled down, flaunting his lawless defiance of the law:
Walker issued a statement Thursday morning in reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court’s upholding of ACA in which he doubled down on his promise not to implement ObamaCares and called for repealing the federal health care law. Walker said the state will not implement the law until after the November elections.
Because, you know, laws are for Democrats.
It turns out that even the Republican Wisconsin AG Van Hollen agrees that yes, Walker has to comply with federal law. You might recall Van Hollen, he was the lawyer for Wisconsin in the lawsuit filed against ObamaCares, so it’s not as if he’s pro-ACA. In 2008, Van Hollen sued the Wisconsin state elections agency to force the Government Accountability Board to check voter registrations for accuracy (his suit was thrown out for lack of standing). But even Van Hollen’s partisan prejudice can’t stop him from acknowledging that there are some laws even Republicans must follow.
After the SCOTUS ruling yesterday, Van Hollen said that Walker is obligated to follow the law according to its deadlines. That gives Walker just a few months to throw together something in time for the November deadline (insert laughter here).
Walker is now pretending there are “multiple deadlines” and that this somehow means he doesn’t have to follow them. Since Walker’s signature legislation turned out to cost the state 87 million dollars due to minutae that he failed to address, you can understand how Walker doesn’t get why there are a few deadlines. There is the first deadline of November 16 to submit plans for the exchanges, and then on Jan. 1, 2013 to show the Department of Health and Human Services that the exchanges will be operational the next year, and then the actual deadline for the exchanges of January 1, 2014. It’s called planning. These deadlines apply even to Scott Walker, who is a king only in his own state.
Walker isn’t alone. Bobby Jindal descended his Gone with the Wind staircase to announce, “We’re not going to start implementing Obamacare. We’re committed to working to elect Governor Romney to repeal Obamacare.”
The entire posse of Republican dress up-faux cowboy governors who are refusing to follow federal law may find themselves on the wrong side of federal law this November. But you can bet they’ll have their hands out for the Medicaid money. In a perfect world, we could round them up and impeach them for failing to do their duty and violating federal law, but we all know that conservatives have become the anarchists calling for armed revolution. Expecting them to follow the law is a set up for disappointment.
In reality, what will happen is that the federal government will step in to do the red state governors’ jobs for them.
The New York Times addressed this today, “If they do not, the secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, “shall establish and operate” the exchanges for the states, according to the statute, a prospect that Republican governors like Rick Scott of Florida, Rick Perry of Texas and Scott Walker of Wisconsin would presumably find anathema.”
The look on Scott Walker’s face when Kathleen Sebelius steps over his tough boy mask and gets to work actually helping his constituents while he whines about liberal enemies and Socialism will be priceless.
Scott Walker got the Constitution thrown in his face today by a Republican AG. Governor Walker must set up the federally mandated health care exchange in Wisconsin or Sebelius will do it for him.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.