Desperate States Trying to Save Obamacare Exchanges by Merging

The Obamacare exchanges are working just like they were supposed to.

The states with Obamacare exchanges are “quietly” thinking about merging those operations, according to the Hill.

I suppose these are exchanges that are not yet bankrupt like Hawaii’s, but heading that way.

A number of states are quietly considering merging their healthcare exchanges under ObamaCare amid big questions about their cost and viability.

Many of the 13 state-run ObamaCare exchanges are worried about how they’ll survive once federal dollars supporting them run dry next year.


The idea is still only in the infancy stage. It’s unclear whether a California-Oregon or New York-Connecticut health exchange is on the horizon.

But a shared marketplace — an option buried in a little-known clause of the Affordable Care Act — has become an increasingly attractive option for states desperate to slash costs. If state exchanges are not financially self-sufficient by 2016, they will be forced to join the federal system,

“What is happening is states are figuring out the money is running out,” said Jim Wadleigh, the director of Connecticut’s exchange, hailed as one of the most successful in the country. “At the end of 2016, everyone has to be self-sustaining.”

Here is what should be obvious: there was no chance of these state exchanges being self-sustaining. The only reason for these state exchanges in the first place was to pretend that Obamacare was not a Federal takeover of the healthcare system. The Hill’s story reminds us:

Still, while forming larger exchanges could make financial sense for the states, it could risk a political backlash.

The state-based exchanges were included in the Affordable Care Act to calm fears that the law would lead to a new, national system for obtaining insurance similar to a “public option.”

And now, what do you know? The state exchanges are financially collapsing. This idea of multi-state exchanges is not going to go anywhere. Ultimately, all the states are supposed to go into the Federal system.

The state exchanges, in other words, are working perfectly. They are doing  what they were designed to do.