Saturday, December 15, 2012

Not An Auspicious Start

With Friday's deadline for state exchanges now in the books, two thirds of US states have rejected forming state health care exchanges, and the federal government now must pick up the tab to get the exchanges ready to enroll people by October.

The Obama administration said Friday that more than half the states had rejected its pleas to set up their own health insurance exchanges, dealing a setback to President Obama’s hopes that Republicans would join a White House campaign to provide health insurance to all Americans.

Friday was the deadline for states to notify the federal government of their plans, and administration officials had been hoping that Mr. Obama’s re-election would overcome resistance to the new health care law. 

Federal officials said they knew of 17 states that intended to run their own exchanges, as Congress intended. 

Instead, the President's re-election just pissed off the rest of the GOP.  Republican governor after Republican governor (and more than a few Democrats, like Missouri's Jay Nixon) refused to participate, and Idaho GOP Gov. Butch Otter actually had his state joined the exchange because he hates the plan, wants the law completely repealed, and the last thing he wanted was the Feds coming in to set up the exchange for him by God.

So in the new year, HHS has 33 exchanges to set up.  Ironically, here in Kentucky, Gov. Dinosaur Steve was perfectly happy with the idea that we expand Medicaid and set up exchanges, because nobody's going to buy the excuse that Kentucky's poor aren't mostly all white people who get a crapload of government assistance anyway.

Go figure.

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