November 14 2012

ObamaCare: The Ground Game

Charlotte Hays

Quote of the Day: If ever there were an issue to which the adage, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” applies, Obamacare is certainly it.

That is from a Ricochet post by Gene Schwimmer, who explains how unintended consequences of ObamaCare might help red states and ultimately persuade blue states that it wasn’t such a hot idea.

States must decide by the end of this week if they are going to establish state insurance exchanges to meet the requirements of ObamaCare or leave this task to the federal government.

Believe it or not, this could be good news. Schwimmer explains:

Several states have already declared their intention not to create exchanges, but always in the context of avoiding a hardship or expense.

There is another major advantage, however, to refusing to establish a state exchange, stemming from a particular flaw (one among many) in the Affordable Care Act’s language that establishes penalties for failure to comply with the Act’s provisions, but only if a state creates an exchange.

 In Wisconsin, Sheboygan Republicans are urging citizens to petition Gov. Scott Walker not to set up an exchange:

Governor Scott Walker can stop hugh parts of OBAMACARE if he says "no" to State Health Exchanges.He must do this by November 15.This will save $10 to $100 million in Wisconsin.

Companies will not be forced to pay a $3000 penalty per employee and have to join a state exchange. 

By refusing to take part in the state health exchange Wisconsin can attract companies from other states because it will be less expensive to do business here.

States have the option of joining a state or federal health exchange. If the state health exchange is refused it defaults to the federal health exchange and the feds have to pay for it and cannot penalize or charge the state anything.

If over 30 states refuse this state health exchange it will force Congress to reopen Obamacare.

Whatever happens with regard to that magic 30, states that opt out will be able, Schwimmer notes, to advertise the advantages that accrue to a business located in a non-state exchange state.

We can be sure that at least some of the states that do create exchanges will be blue states that voted for Obama – and by extension, for Obamacare. By this writer’s reckoning, they will be getting exactly what they deserve.

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