If ObamaCare is such a great deal …
posted at 12:01 pm on December 18, 2012 by Ed Morrissey
… why aren’t more states going for it? Investors Business Daily points out the apparent contradiction:
Under ObamaCare, states were supposed to agree to set up so-called insurance exchanges — which would act as a clearinghouse for government-approved health plans and distribute the insurance subsidies included in the law.
But just 18 states have agreed to build them. The rest — which include eight run by Democratic governors — are leaving it to the federal government to do the dirty work of setting up these massively complicated exchanges. That’s a remarkable vote of no confidence on a central element of ObamaCare, and one that’s caught the White House completely by surprise.
Which means the Obama administration now has to figure out how to run exchanges in 32 states — a task it is hardly prepared to take on, if it’s capable of ever handling it at all.
Why should states play along? Setting up an exchange only means that states will have to spend the money to run them — which will cost tens of millions of dollars they don’t have — and then suffer the blame when things inevitably go horribly wrong.
Meanwhile, nine states have said they won’t expand Medicaid — and more may join them — which undermines the other leg of the ObamaCare stool that was supposed to provide coverage for another 32 million.
Maybe they know a bad deal when they see it. Partisan politics can’t explain all of the reluctance, especially not with the Democratic governors who are balking at the plan. The unfunded liabilities in Medicaid expansion alone in the outer years have to be daunting, especially for states who already can’t cover their current obligations.
A wise Congress would be asking this question, especially as part of the overall issue of entitlement liabilities, but don’t hold your breath on that until 2015 at the earliest.