Gov. Brian Sandoval today continued his crusade against the Affordable Care Act, notwithstanding the fact that he’s one of only two Republican governors to have fully participated in what critics call Obamacare.
Sandoval complained that the president and Congress should have known the promise that people who liked their health-care policies could keep them was impossible, and thus they misled the public. Here’s his statement:
“The fact is the president misled the American people when he promised they could keep their insurance if they liked it. His statements last week did nothing to remove the Obamacare mandates that have resulted in cancelled insurance policies. Furthermore, those in Congress who supported this law should have known that implementing these mandates would result in cancelled policies. The very real and harmful consequences of this ill-conceived law are now being experienced by not just Nevadans, but people throughout the country.
“The only way to fix the problems resulting from this law is to change the law itself. So, I again call upon thepPresident and Congress to act swiftly. I firmly believe Obamacare must be dramatically changed or repealed.”
Sandoval inherited a lawsuit seeking to kill the ACA that was begun by his predecessor, Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons. After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the law was constitutional, Sandoval decided to create a state-based health insurance exchange, preferring to run his own show rather than allow the federal government to do it. Later, Sandoval announced he was expanding the state’s Medicaid program under the ACA, saying it would actually save the state money, at least in the short term. Among Sandoval’s fellow Republicans, only New Mexico Gov. Susanna Martinez has created a state-based exchange and expanded Medicare.
But that doesn’t mean Sandoval likes the idea. Not at all. Last week, he released a similar statement, saying the law was flawed but he joined on to its provisions because it had been upheld by the courts. Still, with so many other Republican governors spurning either an expansion of Medicare and creating state exchanges, it’s starting to appear as if Sandoval is trying to split a medium-fine hair.
Also worthy of comment (but not included in Sandoval’s statement) is the role of insurance companies in the process. Like Congress, they, too, realized that some of the policies they were selling after the ACA went into effect in 2010 didn’t meet the law’s standards. They knew for a fact that they’d have to cancel those policies by the time the act went fully into effect in 2014, but they continued to sell them right up until the deadline. Don’t they bear some of the blame as well, governor?