Understanding #ObamaCare realities, and how states can push back

Posted by: ST on November 12, 2012 at 6:57 pm

When Speaker Boehner last week said in the aftermath of the election that ObamaCare was “the law of the land”, it made a lot of conservatives who have fought against the law since then-candidate Obama first proposed it when running for President very angry. And understandably so. Coming off a surprisingly lopsided defeat and still licking their wounds and wondering what the hell went wrong, acknowledging the reality that Congress can do very little about ObamaCare at this point outside of attempting to pick it apart here and there during budgeting negotiations was a bitter pill for many to swallow.

But while it does seem hopeless at this point that anything meaningful can be done against ObamaCare for the foreseeable future in Congress, what’s should be cause for optimism is the power of states to push back on it and push back hard, which would essentially force Congress to address the issue again – perhaps with the power of many of the nation’s Governors … and fed up citizens … supporting them. Cato’s director of health policy studies Michael F. Cannon explains:

President Obama has won reelection, and his administration has asked state officials to decide by Friday, November 16, whether their state will create one of Obamacare’s health-insurance “exchanges.” States also have to decide whether to implement the law’s massive expansion of Medicaid. The correct answer to both questions remains a resounding no.

State-created exchanges mean higher taxes, fewer jobs, and less protection of religious freedom. States are better off defaulting to a federal exchange. The Medicaid expansion is likewise too costly and risky a proposition. Republican Governors Association chairman Bob McDonnell (R.,Va.) agrees, and has announced that Virginia will implement neither provision.

There are many arguments against creating exchanges.

First, states are under no obligation to create one.

Second, operating an Obamacare exchange would be illegal in 14 states. Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia have enacted either statutes or constitutional amendments (or both) forbidding state employees to participate in an essential exchange function: implementing Obamacare’s individual and employer mandates.

Third, each exchange would cost its state an estimated $10 million to $100 million per year, necessitating tax increases.

Fourth, the November 16 deadline is no more real than the “deadlines” for implementing REAL ID, which have been pushed back repeatedly since 2008.

Fifth, states can always create an exchange later if they choose.


Finally, rejecting an exchange reduces the federal deficit. Obamacare offers its deficit-financed subsidies to private health insurers only through state-created exchanges. If all states declined, federal deficits would fall by roughly $700 billion over ten years.

For similar reasons, states should decline to implement Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. The Supreme Court gave states that option. All states should exercise it.


Now is not the time to go wobbly. Obamacare is still harmful and still unpopular. The presidential election was hardly a referendum, as it pitted the first person to enact Obamacare against the second person to enact it. Since the election, many state officials are reaffirming their opposition to both implementing exchanges and expanding Medicaid.

If enough states do so, Congress will have no choice but to reopen Obamacare. With a GOP-controlled House, opponents will be in a much stronger position than they were when this harmful law was enacted.

Make sure to read the whole thing. And keep your chins up. It ain’t over. Not by a long shot.

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7 Responses to “Understanding #ObamaCare realities, and how states can push back”


  1. Drew the Infidel says:

    With a little creativity and tenacity the House can tie this thing up for a good while; nothing will happen overnight or by executive fiat. As stated above this law is extremely unpopular as the 2010 mid-term results effectively demonstrated. It was brokered through such shady dealings as “the Cornhusker Kickback” and the “Louisiana Purchase”. More importantly though, Romney never envisioned this approach to health care as a model for the nation, only Massachusetts. The main reason so little has been known about it from the outset is the LSM did not do its job informing the public but instead went on an expensive and fruitless wild goose chase to Alaska to paw through thousands upon thousands of Sarah Palin’s official e-mails.

  2. Carlos says:

    Unfortunately, some of us live in midnight-blue states (picture California, Washington, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania on steroids) that will go bankrupt before they give conservatives the benefit of believing ObamaCare is little more than a scam to break every citizen not a billionaire into a permanent submission from which they will never recover, thus becoming ever-more dependent upon Uncle Nanny for their mere subsistence.

    My state even has a doctor for guvner whose nickname is “Doctor Death” because he’s such an outspoken advocate of medical murder, a.k.a. “assisted suicide.” That doesn’t speak well of the chances he or the legislators will want to mess with the coming “death for the greater good” panels.

  3. Phineas says:

    I saw the same article. It’s a long shot, (for one it depends on enough politicians showing spine and not folding) but it’s one way to fight a guerrilla war against this abomination until –sigh– 2017 when we have another shot at repeal.

  4. Jo says:

    I’m still holding out hope, though most likely futile, that my state, SC, will have the gonads to secede again before the tin horn dictator begins to confiscate firearms, property, businesses, all food and water sources, etc. Obamacare is just one of the many things we have to be fearful of in this new hopey, changey America.

  5. Perry says:

    I’m still holding out hope, though most likely futile, that my state, SC, will have the gonads to secede again before the tin horn dictator begins to confiscate firearms, property, businesses, all food and water sources, etc. Obamacare is just one of the many things we have to be fearful of in this new hopey, changey America.

    Secede? Right, until the next devastating hurricane strikes SC, or until the next epidemic takes hold, or until major infrastructure repairs are required by SC, or even until a revolt by the disenfranchised and neglected gets violent. And who will defend you from attack by foreign terrorists/enemies?

    In unity comes strength, but also involves that dirty word: compromise!

  6. Carlos says:

    @Perry: Oh, God! Please, only the government can save us from anything! Please, give us the biggest government possible, and do it as soon as possible! Please! Who knows what tragedy might strike in the next two minutes, and there’s not a guvmint agent within two miles of my place! Please hurry!

    Ya know, Perry, up until the Fifties, no one ever gave a thought to the guvmint being responsible for all the deaths from storms, all the property losses, all the wages lost, etc. And the reason they didn’t was because IT’S NOT THE GOVERNMENT’S RESPONSIBILITY! But they understood that back then, before the politicians (both sides) started buying votes with taxpayer monies.

    Now, half the folks depend on the guvmint to wake them up in the morning, fix their coffee, supply their breakfast, buy their house and car so they can go buy their food stamp groceries, pay for their cigs and cable, etc., etc., etc.

    And you wonder why people like me get upset?