(BATON ROUGE, La.) — Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, one of Mitt Romney’s possible running mates, said that despite Thursday’s decision by the Supreme Court to uphold the Affordable Care Act, he will not implement it in his state.
Jindal called the health care plan a “blow to our freedoms” and said the “president forced this law on us.”
“It really raises the question of what’s next, what’s allowable,” Jindal said on a Republican National Committee Conference Call. “Taxes on people who refuse to eat tofu or refuse to drive a Chevy Volt…this whole ruling I think is ridiculous. It’s a huge expansion of federal power.”
Jindal said despite the law being upheld, Louisiana will “not set up an exchange.”
Under the legislation, states are required to set up a health insurance exchange program by January 2014 and they will receive grants from the federal government in order to implement it. Instead, Jindal says he’s just going to wait in the hopes Romney gets elected and the legislation is then repealed, a difficult task even if the presumptive GOP nominee makes it to the White House.
“Elections have consequences. Elections do, in fact, matter,” Jindal said. “This one matters a lot.”
Jindal was very clear that the health care plan now upheld by the Supreme Court will not be making its way to Louisiana if he can help it.
“We are not going to start implementing Obamacare,” Jindal said. “We are committed to working to elect Gov. Romney to repeal Obamacare.”
Virginia Gov. McDonnell was also on the call and said he would evaluate it, but his “hope is in 125 days or so we elect a new president and the Senate along with the House of Representatives will have the votes to repeal this mandate and replace it with a common sense free market, pro-federalism approach to health care.”
When asked how Romney will be able to repeal the legislation, Jindal answered that the candidate “has been unequivocal long before yesterday’s decision, but for a year that it was a top priority of his presidency.”
“On day one he would do everything he could administratively to gut the mandate of Obamacare, that he’d grant waivers to the states and he would launch an appeal statute to get it off the books and replace it with a policy that honors federalism and honors free market principals in order to provide greater access and less cost to the health care,” McDonnell said.
They did not expand how Romney would repeal it. Repeal would only be possible if not only Romney wins the presidency, but Republicans hold on to the House and take over the Senate.
Neither McDonnell or Jindal gave details into what Romney would replace the Affordable Care Act with, but Jindal said Romney “has focused on creating voluntary purchasing pools, on free market reforms to make health care more affordable, more portable, more accessible without undermining the private sector delivery system.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Marissa Morrison, KIVI
Ruth Brown, Idaho Press-Tribune