ObamaCare directs states to set up exchanges to manage its new insurance subsidy system. “But states view the project as an enormous undertaking, requiring them to design a system, develop the information technology and put it into action in just three years amid tight budgets.”
“States establishing Obamacare exchanges are making a one-way, lose-lose bet. If Obamacare persists, exchanges will become bloated administrative nightmares. If Obamacare is defeated, states will have wasted time and energy that should have been directed towards that effort. Obamacare is President Obama’s problem. Don’t make it your state’s problem.”
“ObamaCare was not about fixing the insurance market. It was about seizing control of it. Thus it shouldn’t be surprising that a new analysis by the Congressional Research Service says that states can use ObamaCare to erect a de facto single-payer system by simply excluding from their exchanges every plan but a state-run ‘public’ plan. ‘There is no specific language in [the president’s health plan] that would prohibit an exchange from denying certification to every private plan that applies,’ the analysis finds.”
“West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, a Democrat locked in a tight Senate race against Republican John Raese, said on Fox News this morning that he would support the full repeal of health care reform if it couldn’t be fixed.”
ObamaCare’s high-risk pools are a failure, with high costs leading to few enrollees. “It’s a centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s health care remake, a lifeline available right now to vulnerable people whose medical problems have made them uninsurable. But the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan started this summer isn’t living up to expectations. Enrollment lags in many parts of the country. People who could benefit may not be able to afford the premiums. Some state officials who run their own ‘high-risk pools’ have pointed out potential problems.”
New insurance exchanges are supposed to make insurance companies more responsive to market forces, but will instead give government control over the market. “In theory, they will expose health insurance customers to greater competition while protecting them through regulation. Insurers participating in the exchanges, for example, will face strict limits on how they can price their premiums according to individual risk factors. In practice, they will likely prove difficult to design and implement, and may ultimately undermine the country’s quality of care. No matter what, there is little doubt that the exchanges will fundamentally alter the health insurance landscape across the states.”
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.