Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas – “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 by the Obama Administration for states to inform the federal government of a their intention regarding a “State Insurance Exchange” is November 16th.
“It would not be fiscally responsible to put hard-working Texans on the financial hook for an unknown amount of money to operate a system under rules that have not even been written,” said Perry.
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.
Gov. Perry has previously made clear Texas’ intention not to implement a state exchange, or expand Medicaid under Obamacare in a letter to Secretary Sebelius in July.
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to sit on their hands for months in the hope that Mitt Romney would win the presidency and the health care law would be repealed.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.
Last week, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, Chairman of the Republican Governors Association, chose the third option, allowing HHS to implement a federal exchange.
McDonnell took a stand against the massive burden ObamaCare would impose on the people of Virginia, declaring,
“I don’t believe the federal government can possibly deliver its commitment to fully fund the program, and I don’t want to be part of contributing trillions of dollars to the national debt.”
What is that likely to mean?
The battlefront now shifts to citizen and state resistance, say many conservative analysts. Opponents, undeterred by President Obama’s re-election victory, argue the states are “the new firewall.”
Fourteen states have passed legislation, ballot initiatives, or constitutional amendments blocking the individual mandates. A growing number of governors say they will not participate in setting up Exchanges – the bureaucracies that will redesign health insurance and deliver 100’s of billions of dollars in ObamaCare subsidies.
Many states also have said they will not expand Medicaid to higher levels, worried the federal government will lock them into the expansion, only to yank back the 100% federal funding match.
Citizens also continue to voice resistance, with the penalty for not buying insurance starting at $95 the first year, for those that opt not to pay thousands of dollars for health insurance?
Many of the nation’s largest corparations have already begun company restructurings of their workforces, with news reports announcing major job cuts and employee hours to avoid thousands of dollars in ObamaCare fines from the employer mandate – fines many say could completely wipe out the profit margin.