Stopping Obamacare In Its Path

The election may be over, but Obamacare is certainly not the settled law of the land. The Oklahoman reports that “Oklahoma has joined a growing list of states that won’t expand Medicaid or implement state-run health exchanges, two key components of Obamacare.”  As Heritage has indicated, this is the best option for states.

It would be foolish for states to try to set up a state Obamacare exchange since the law is “unworkable” and “unsustainable.”  Similarly, the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) said that Obamacare “was so poorly conceived and so poorly written that it could never be implemented.”

Heritage provides several reasons for not setting up state-run health exchanges:

First, the “states would gain no meaningful flexibility or advantage by operating their own exchanges, relative to federally facilitated exchanges.”

Second, even without the state-run health exchange, “states still regulate insurers,” so there’s not an incentive there either.

Third, if the state does operate the exchange, “the state is voluntarily taking responsibility for the results.”  With so many details of the law still unknown, this would not be a wise undertaking.

Fourth, if the state doesn’t like the federally set up exchange, they can always implement their own exchange later, so there’s no rush.

Ironically, as NCPA said, the federal government tried to coerce the states into setting up their own exchanges by not offering subsidies to those states who fail to set up their own exchanges.  However, the coercion has not worked very well, presumably to the Obama administration’s dismay.  It’s not surprising that the states do not want to bend to the federal government’s will; NCPA reminds us that “although the Feds require full transparency from the states, they are conducting all of their work in secret,” with regard to how they are financing the federal exchanges.

Oklahoma is also taking the right step by rejecting the Medicaid expansion.  It’s simply untrue that the Medicaid expansion would come at no cost and it would only mean greater dependence on government-run health care.


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