Talking Points Memo is shocked, shocked!, that Republican governors would leave the job of setting up the exchanges to the Central Government Planning Office
Late last week more than a dozen Republican governors declared that they will not build the insurance market exchanges called for by the Affordable Care Act, including prominent names like Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, John Kasich of Ohio, Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Rick Perry of Texas.
On Monday, Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma joined them, declaring in a statement that it “does not benefit Oklahoma taxpayers to actively support and fund a new government program that will ultimately be under the control of the federal government.”
Most people still do not want ObamaCare implemented. It still polls negatively. And Republicans will do all they can to gum up the works of a law that was rammed through the Senate and House.
The Obama administration wants states to build the exchanges so they have an incentive to make the law work. If the federal government takes over, state-level Republicans have a scapegoat in case things go wrong.
That’s part of the reason, but, there is a bigger reason
The more states stonewall the exchanges, the more it complicates the task of the federal government. One challenge is that the law lacks an automatic funding mechanism for HHS to set up state exchanges. Enrollment is slated to begin next October, and the exchanges are scheduled to start functioning by January 2014.
So far, over a dozen Republican governors have opted to let the Central Government deal with setting up exchanges. Others have not decided as of yet, but will surely opt for federal exchanges. First, they do not want to be on the hook for helping create an exchange. Second, as mentioned, this puts the blame in Obama’s hands. Third, as mentioned, there is no funding mechanism. When the special interests, healthcare companies, and insurance companies wrote the 2,700 page law that no one who provided a “yea” vote for read, they forgot to provide funding to set up and administrate federally run exchanges. And the slush fund for HHS is “only” a billion dollars, not enough to do the job.
The law is also rather murky on the legality of the Central Government setting up federally run exchanges.
So, yes, Republicans are going to gum up the works. Perhaps Democrats should have read the Bill before passing it. Because the GOP controlled House will not allow changes to strengthen the ACA under any circumstances.