State budgets are already in the red, and ObamaCare saddles them with new costs for Medicaid expansions and to establish and implement new insurance exchanges.
A consequence of the government take-over of the health sector is the vast new influence that health lobbyists will have. On the federal and state level, influence-peddlers will become more important, violating a key campaign promise that President Obama would reduce corporate influence in government.
“I note with special sadness that first and foremost amongst the bill’s consequences will be the probable demise of the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP). This program is currently providing health insurance to 50,000 low-income Hoosiers. With its Health Savings Account-style personal accounts and numerous incentives for healthy lifestyle choices, it has been enormously popular and successful. Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid, soon to cover one in every four citizens, will not only scoop up most of HIP’s participants, but will also cost the state between $3.1 and $3.9 billion over the next decade. It is hard to see how my successors as governor will be able to avoid a steep state tax increase to pay for it.”
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius claims ObamaCare is a partnership between the federal government and state governments, not a national take-over. Given the vast new powers claimed by Washington after ObamaCare, the pleas of cooperation ring hollow.
Indiana’s proven health reforms are about to be overturned by ObamaCare’s Washington-led directives. “A key part of American federalism is states’ ability to serve as laboratories where the consequences of various programs can be explored without committing the entire nation to what may turn out to be expensive blunders. For instance, Wisconsin successfully took the lead on welfare reform in the early 1990s, setting the template for national bipartisan legislation in 1996 that lifted millions of women and children out of poverty. But in health-care reform, President Obama and congressional Democrats didn’t wait for state experiments to run their course. State reform efforts—on the left and right—were still in their earliest stages in March 2010, when Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, committing the nation to trillions of dollars of new health-care spending. The consequences of this rush to national reform could be dire.”
“Missouri voters dealt Obamacare a significant setback yesterday, approving a statewide ballot measure by an overwhelming 3-to-1 margin. The vote was the first time citizens had an opportunity to cast a ballot on the unpopular health care law. Missouri’s measure prohibits the federal government’s enforcement of the individual mandate to buy health insurance. The victory sends a strong message about Obamacare in a bellwether state.”
Missouri voters overwhelmingly passed a referendum prohibiting ObamaCare’s individual mandate. About 3 in 4 voters rejected this key provision, which would force individuals to buy health insurance or pay a tax.
Even though ObamaCare was thousands of pages of legislative text, tens of thousands more pages of regulations are required to be written to implement the new law. Much of that is at the discretion of Administration bureaucrats and state officials. “Congress has left some of the most difficult decisions about health care reform to state insurance commissioners — handing a group of relatively obscure officials enormous power over the implementation of the law and the success or failure of President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement.”
ObamaCare will raise costs for existing insurance policies. The state of Arizona recently notified employees that their costs will go up as a result of the new law. “The Department of Administration cited federal health reform as the reason the state’s health plans will carry ‘greater expenses and higher premiums for members,’ according to a June 30 letter sent to about 135,000 state and university employees and their dependents.”
Nationally, over half of those newly insured by ObamaCare will be added to Medicaid. This government-run program reimburses doctors at such low rates, that many providers refuse to treat enrollees. “The Kentucky Hospital Association said in a report on Monday that Kentucky hospitals will lose $1.2 billion in revenues in the next 10 years because of health care reform. Because Kentucky has one of the lowest income levels in the nation, the majority of uninsured Kentuckians will be covered under Medicaid rather than private health insurance, leaving the state with 25 percent of its population on Medicaid, the report said. Medicaid is jointly financed by federal and state tax dollars.”