J.B. Van Hollen: Then and Now

Feb 03, 2011

Partisan A.G. Backtracks on Health Care Reform

MADISON- In a reversal of his previous position, Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is now walking back his statement that federal health care reform was “dead” in Wisconsin.

On Tuesday, following Monday’s ruling by an activist judge in Florida, J.B. Van Hollen declared the Affordable Care Act dead in Wisconsin, stating that Wisconsin was, “relieved of any obligations or duties that were created under terms of the federal health care law.”

In contrast, representatives for Georgia’s Republican Governor Nathan Deal stated that halting implementation of the federal law midstream would be “irresponsible,” particularly if the litigation is ultimately unsuccessful.

Van Hollen is now walking back his death decree, stating that he has not advised Scott Walker to halt the implementation of the federal health care law.

The Affordable Care Act prevents insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions, helps seniors plug the Medicare “donut hole” in prescription drug coverage, allows children to remain on their parents’ policies until age 26, offers tax incentives for small businesses and expands Medicaid coverage for children, pregnant women and working families.

Wisconsin could expect to realize more than $500 million in savings based on the implementation of federal health care reforms.

“In a clear abdication of his responsibility to the people in favor of right-wing extremists, J.B. Van Hollen has long opposed federal health care reform, and is no doubt thrilled to have successfully venue-shopped for a jurisdiction where an activist judge ruled the way he liked,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Friday. “But declaring the federal health care reform law dead, absent a ruling from the highest court of the land, was the height of arrogance. Even though his Tea Party backers probably loved it, it’s no surprise that Van Hollen is now walking back his outrageous statement.”