Today two GOP governors are launching a fresh salvo at Obamacare — specifically, the Oct. 1 deadline for the health insurance exchanges to be up and running — in what is likely the first of many such complaints.
In the Wall Street Journal, Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal and Wisconsin’s Scott Walker argue that “the closer we get to Oct. 1, the day government-mandated health-insurance exchanges are supposed to open, the more we see that the administration doesn’t have a legitimate plan to successfully implement the law.” They explain:
Fifty-five working days before the launch of the ObamaCare health-insurance exchanges on Oct. 1, the administration published a 600-page final rule that employers, individuals and states are expected to follow in determining eligibility for millions of Americans. Rather than lending clarity to a troubled project, the guidelines only further complicated it.
Wouldn’t the death knell for the bill be if, after years of planning, the exchanges can’t be up and running smoothly on time? Maybe the measure not only shouldn’t work but just can’t work. Forget ideology for a moment. If the implementers of the bill can’t implement it, the bill is effectively kaput.
In this regard, the real heroes of the anti-Obamacare effort are the governors who refused to set up the unwieldy exchanges. In doing so, they extricated themselves from a law that is unpopular and unworkable. More critically, they forced the feds to deal with it, something that is proving to be beyond their capability. (Tossing the exchanges back to the feds also raises the question of whether federally operated exchanges are permitted under the statute to dole out the all-important subsidies to those purchasing coverage from the exchanges. The law says “state” exchanges can do this.)
It would behoove GOP governors to set up a Web site that can document the progress of the federal exchanges, or the lack thereof, and the horror stories that will unfold as half-constructed, ill-designed and simply non-functioning federal exchanges wreak havoc with their residents’ health care.
Democrats call this refusal to help implement a dreadful bill “sabotage.” In fact Obamacare designers constructed the bill in such a way as to fob off the implementation on the states, knowing the limitations of the federal government. Why should they be rescued by governors?
When single-payer, nationalized health care couldn’t pass Congress, Obamacare backers resorted to a Rube Goldberg health-care plan that is as unworkable to employers as it is to the feds and to individuals. Constitutionally the administration couldn’t force states to do their bidding; they never imagined they wouldn’t go along with it. This is the liberal welfare state in all its glory — collapsing under its own weight.
The weakest link in Obamacare’s chain is the exchanges, and governors who oppose this monstrous bill should stick with their approach — not to lift a finger. Next, it would be helpful if, while helping to oversee Obamacare’s demise, GOP governors could put together a health-care proposal that is workable. Then they’d have something to show their voters when Obamacare crashes and burns. Simply letting the law die might not be enough to absolve them of responsibility for the worst-crafted legislation in memory.