Whether to create state-run health insurance exchanges, or not
Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas – Last month, facing growing opposition from the states, the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) decided to again postpone the deadline for states give notice whether or not they will set up a state-run ObamaCare health insurance exchange. While Texas Gov. Rick Perry notified HHS last month that the state would not participate, 14 other State Legislatures have made it illegal, or in some cases unconstitutional, for their state to set up an exchange and to implement ObamaCare’s mandates.
“As long as the federal government has the ability to force unknown mandates and costs upon our citizens, while retaining the sole power in approving what an exchange looks like, the notion of a state exchange is merely an illusion,” said Texas Gov. Rick Perry via letter Thursday to U.S. Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, reiterating Texas’ decision not to implement a state insurance exchange as part of Obamacare.
The deadline designated at that time by the Obama Administration for states to inform the federal government of a their intention regarding a “State Insurance Exchange” was November 16th.
Subsequently, the Obama Administration established a new deadline states to notify HHS of their decision is tomorrow — Friday, December 14th.
In November, Governors:
- Jan Brewer of Arizona
- Bobby Jindal of Louisiana
- Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, and
- Scott Walker of Wisconsin also rejected ObamaCare, informing HHS they would protect the citizens of their states from these federally-regulated “exchanges” designed to replace the individual health insurance market with what critics claimis collusion between insurance companies and government bureaucrats.
But not all states are following suit.
Just this week:
- Idaho’s Republican Gov. Butch Otter caved and announced he would pursue a state-based ObamaCare exchange, and
- Nevada’s Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval announced that his state would participate in ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion.
Already, 14 State Legislatures have made it illegal, and in some cases unconstitutional, for their state to set up an exchange and to implement ObamaCare’s mandates. States are under no obligation to set up an exchange.
Any state exchange must be approved by the Obama Administration and operate under specific federally mandated rules, many of which have yet to be disclosed.
States are supposed to tell the Obama administration by Friday whether they want to create their own health insurance exchange — a deadline that many had bet might never come to pass, choosing to sit on their hands for months in the hope that Mitt Romney would win the presidency and the health care law would be repealed.
States wishing to refuse participation in ObamaCare have three options:
- Refuse to respond to the HHS request for an update regarding their health insurance exchange intentions,
- Respond that they will not implement an exchange, as there is nothing statutory compelling them to do so, or
- Allow the HHS to implement an exchange, and be as passive as possible, offering no assistance as the HHS pursues implementation in their state.