MADISON, Wis. -- Gov. Scott Walker pledged again Thursday not to phase in any parts of President Barack Obama's signature health care reform law ahead of November's elections even though the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it is constitutional.
Walker, a Republican, has said he holds out hope the GOP will recapture the White House and gain full control of Congress and repeal the legislation. He reiterated his stance Thursday minutes after the court released its ruling.
"While the court said it was legal, that doesn't make it right," Walker said at a news conference. "For us to put time and effort and resources into that doesn't make a lot of sense."
The law's next deadline isn't until mid-November, after the elections. But Democrats insisted the governor needs to start work now.
"Ignoring federal laws in hopes that someday they will be repealed is ridiculous and irresponsible policy making," said state Rep. Kelda Helen Roys, D-Madison, who is running for Congress. "Walker, who falsely calls for increased bipartisanship, is once again pursuing his extremist policies at the expense of Wisconsin families."
The law will provide health care to about 30 million uninsured people by mandating all Americans carry health insurance and expanding Medicaid enrollment. Twenty-six states, including Wisconsin, filed a lawsuit challenging the legislation's constitutionality, particularly the insurance mandate. The court ruled, 5-4, the mandate can stand because it can be considered a tax, but said the government can't cut funding for states that opt out of Medicaid expansion.
Republicans blasted the ruling as a tax increase. They promised the ruling would energize conservative voters and help Republican Mitt Romney defeat Obama in Wisconsin. The state's business and insurance communities lambasted the law, too, saying it creates uncertainty for employers and will increase costs for consumers and employers.