- GOP may change presidential nominee process
- GOP, Democrats can't agree on Benghazi investigation
- Boehner to appoint select Benghazi committee
- Retired justice proposes changes to Constitution
- Obamacare under attack as conservatives eye 2016
- US Senator joins critics of federal cattle roundup
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- Official: Obama to push for more overtime pay
- US warns Russia over rising Ukraine tension
- Governors: 'Obamacare' here to stay
- Venezuelan voices on the troubles in their country
- Ukraine's Tymoshenko speaks to protesters
- Gay marriage issue flares in Kentucky Senate race
- Ryan says he is keeping his options open for 2016
- Applications for jobless benefits rise to 339K
- White House: Stimulus bill was good for economy
- Democrats seek to turn stand on issues into votes
- AG urges restoring voting rights to ex-inmates
- Employers scrutinize latest health care concession
- A fresh start for Hillary Clinton and liberals?
- US easing immigration rule for terrorist support
- Biden: No obvious reason not to run in 2016
- Clinton warns new Iran sanctions could upend talks
- Obama: Job training must reflect changing economy
- Democratic push to raise minimum wage a longshot
- Obama plans executive action on jobs, retirement security
- Poll: People see Obama as nice guy, so-so prez
- Report: NSA maps pathway into computers
- House ready to OK government-wide $1.1T budget
- Majority of Congress members now millionaires
- Unemployment benefits bill clears hurdle
- Poll: Americans have little faith in government
- Light bulb ban set to go into effect Jan. 1, 2014
- Obama presidency beset by fits, starts in year 5
- American abducted in Pakistan calls for US help
- NSA leaker: Mission is already accomplished
- Obama focuses on a tough year's ups, not its downs
- Mayor John Cranley: We are going to have a streetcar
- Clinton will decide on 2016 sometime next year
- Improving US economy leads Fed to ease stimulus
- White House task force urges limit on NSA snooping
- Judge: NSA program is likely unconstitutional
- Obama to meet with tech CEOs amid NSA concerns
- Wastebook report singles out $30B in federal spending
- Debate on plane phone calls moves on, gets bigger
- Budget deal to cut deficit over 10 years
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- A look at the congressional budget agreement
- Senate holds talkathon over Obama nominees
- How Volcker Rule would limit banks risky bets
- Budget deal aims to avert another shutdown
- Boehner to Run for Re-Election
- State Senator Eric Kearney Resigns from Democratic Ticket
- President and First Lady Depart for South Africa
- Tech giants call for controls on gov't snooping
- Obama's fixer-upper website races to catch up
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- Cranley Announces Choice for Vice-Mayor
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- Immigration Reform: House Will Not Talk on Senate-Passed Bill
- Cranley Confirms: City Manager Dohoney to Resign by December 1st
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- Ohio Legislator Proposes Pay Increase for Thanksgiving Workers
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- Mapping the Votes in the Cincinnati Mayor's Race
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- Warren County Campaign on Candidates and Deciding Issues
- Voters Decide Oak Hills School Levy
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- #YourVoice2013 Complete Election Coverage
- Most Watched Polls Across America
- Lakota Tries to Pass Levy After Three Defeats
- Qualls and Cranley Face off in Mayoral Race
- Voters Decide Zoo and Library Renewal Projects
- Light Voter Turnout this Election Day
- Cincinnati's Mayoral Candidates Vote
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- Obamacare: Memo reveals health care adviser warned W.H. was losing control 3 years ago
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- President Obama Defends Health Care Law
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- City Council and Mayoral Candidates Go At It
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- Ex-House speaker Tom Foley dies at 84
- House Worker Escorted Out After Yelling During Vote
- Federal Workers Back in Business
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- White House: Furloughed Workers Can Return to Work
- Government Shutdown Over
- Obamacare Sign Up Under Way
- Deal reached to avoid default and open government
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- 2013 Cincinnati Mayoral Debate
- Hints of a Truce in Government Shutdown
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- Cincinnati Mayoral Race Preview
Governors: 'Obamacare' here to stay
Updated: Sunday, February 23 2014, 05:35 PM EST
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The explosive politics of health care have divided the nation, but America's governors, Republicans and Democrats alike, suggest that President Barack Obama's health care overhaul is here to stay.
While governors from Connecticut to Louisiana sparred on Sunday over how best to improve the nation's economy, governors of both parties shared a far more pragmatic outlook on the controversial program known as "Obamacare" as millions of their constituents begin to be covered.
"We're just trying to make the best of a bad situation," Republican Gov. Terry Branstad, of Iowa, who calls the health care law "unaffordable and unsustainable," yet something he has to implement by law. "We're trying to make it work as best we can for the people of Iowa."
As governors gathered in Washington this weekend, Democratic governors such as Maryland's Martin O'Malley and Connecticut's Dannel Malloy made pitches to raise the minimum wage, while Republican governors such as Louisiana's Bobby Jindal and Indiana's Mike Pence called for more freedom from federal regulations, particularly those related to the health insurance overhaul. But governors from both parties report that a full repeal of the law would be complicated at best, if not impossible, as states move forward with implementation and begin covering millions of people — both by expanding Medicaid rolls for lower-income resident or through state or federal exchanges that offer federal subsidies to those who qualify.
Republican opposition to the law is the centerpiece of the GOP's political strategy ahead of the midterm elections. And to be sure, not every GOP leader embraced the inevitability of the law's implementation.
"I don't think that it's so deeply entrenched that it can't be repealed," Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said. "But I do think, as we argue for repeal, we have to show folks what you replace it with."
Despite a troubled rollout, nearly 3.3 million people have signed up through Feb. 1 for health care coverage under the law. The White House reported that 1 million people signed up nationwide for private insurance under the law in January alone. It remains unclear that the administration will reach its unofficial goal of 7 million people by the end of March, but it still expects several million enrollees by then.
A recent Associated Press analysis of the sign-ups found that six Republican-led states — Florida, Idaho, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, and Wisconsin — were on pace or better than the states had initially projected.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is among several Republican governors who expanded their state's Medicaid laws under the law.
"The whole dialogue on the Affordable Care Act is about people fighting, causing gridlock and a mess, instead of working on something important like wellness," Snyder said, adding that he still has "a lot of issues" with the overhaul. "But it is the law, so I'm trying to work in that context."
Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, who leads the Democratic Governors Association, said governors spent about half of their private lunch session on Saturday discussing the health care law and the tone was much different than in past years.
"Before the election, it felt like a cock fight," Shumlin said, describing the debate over the law during the 2012 campaign. "Down there we were talking about ways to we could cooperate."
"There's no doubt in my mind that the Republicans have accepted that as millions of people sign up for it and finally get the health care they have been dreaming of for their families, nobody's going to take that away," he said.
Yet Republican governors here described circumstances that would hardly befit a dream.
Democrats and Republicans alike complained about major problems with the Medicaid eligibility data that they are receiving from federal exchanges. The 36 states in the federal exchange have noted often incomplete data with the Medicaid information they are receiving.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican who is among his party's most vulnerable incumbents in the fall election, said he's working to expand his state's Medicaid program, but the process had been cumbersome and difficult. He said it still remained unclear, from a fiscal standpoint, if the health care law would be functioning in two years.
"There are a lot more unknowns than there are knowns," Corbett said.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, a Republican, said many governors still have concerns about the program, but that outright repeal would be "complicated."
Republican campaign officials, meanwhile, plan to make the health care law the overwhelming focus of the coming midterm elections.
From coast to coast, conservatives are attacking Democrats who supported the overhaul, seizing on problems with the program's website and news that some Americans were forced to change insurers once the law took effect. The conservative group, Americans For Prosperity, has spent more than $20 million on anti-Obamacare television ads in several key states since last August.
The stakes are high for parties battling over control of the House and Senate, while there are also 36 elections for governor, most of them for governors mansions currently held by Republicans. The coming elections also offer prospective 2016 presidential candidates an opportunity to boost their political standing.
Leading GOP figures in the Senate like Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida have been vocal critics of the health care law. Cruz mounted a 21-hour Senate speech against Obama's health law and was tied to the partial government shutdown while Rubio was an early proponent of defunding the health law although he distanced himself from the shutdown.
New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, a first-term Democrat up for re-election in November, said her state would soon expand its Medicaid program to cover 50,000 uninsured residents.
"Overall, I'm very disappointed with the early implementation and rollout," she said. "But I think we are making progress."