Two weeks ago, I tallied up the score in the state rebellion against ObamaCare. About half of the states have either forthrightly refused to set up their ObamaCare insurance exchanges, or opted for a state/federal “partnership” arrangement. Most of the 16 outright refusals have come from Republican governors, who generally cite three reasons for insisting that the federal government run its own ObamaCare exchanges in their states:
1. The governors don’t want to get saddled with the expense of setting up and running those exchanges.
2. The states feel that they would be very junior partners in the ObamaCare enterprise, without much in the way of local control, so the whole concept of a “state-run” exchange is really just a fig leaf of federalism for a monstrous central bureaucracy.
3. Perhaps the most damning indictment offered by the recalcitrant governors is that ObamaCare’s regulations are still largely unwritten. The governors felt they were being asked to sign a contract that still contained a shocking number of blank pages and penciled-in notes.
An article in The Hill on Sunday shed more light on point number 3. ”The Obama administration faces major logistical and financial challenges in creating health insurance exchanges for states that have declined to set up their own systems,” noted author Elise Viebeck, who went on to say it was “a situation no one anticipated when the Affordable Care Act was written,” because “the law assumed states would create and operate their own exchanges, and set aside billions in grants for that purpose.”
What? ”A situation no one anticipated?” How could that be true? The governors resisting President Obama’s health-care takeover are not seceding from the Union. ”Rebellious” is a description of their attitude, not their legal status. They’re not breaking, or even challenging, any laws; they’re exercising a provision written into ObamaCare, and it’s one of the relatively few sections of that disastrous law that actually was written in ink, at the time of passage. State governors were always given the option of asking the federal government to run the exchanges in their states.