Obamacare exchanges consist of a federally financed healthcare entitlement that would subsidize insurance premiums for low and some middle income American families. The exchanges go into effect January 1, 2014. The amount of the subsidy depends upon the family income with the lowest income getting the greatest subsidy. Exchanges are to be run by the states under the guidance of the federal health care program.
A number of state governors, all Republicans, are taking a second look at the Obamacare exchange program to see just how much it is going to cost their state. The growing number of these GOP governors have seen the figures that indicate that the Obamacare exchanges will stretch their state budgets beyond their ability.
Consequently some of these GOP governors including Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, Gov. Robert Bentley of Alabama, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Gov. Rick Scott of Florida, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas, Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Gov. Robert McDonnell of Virginia, and Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia, have announced they will refuse to implement the Obamacare exchanges because they are too costly and they don’t have the necessary information they need to, to know what it’s going to fully cost. A number of other GOP governors are still weighing the issues of whether or not to make the same decision.
Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell commented on the situation saying:
“Republican governors would rather do things at the state level, rather than have the federal government do it, but the problem is we’ve been asking for months in writing for information and the rule-making to give us the information about how the state and federal exchanges are going to be set up. And we still have a great absence of information.”
“If they’re not going to provide the information . . . the only thing to do is to default and let the federal government set it up. Either way, you comply with the law.”
“It’s a great concern with already an over-burdensome Medicaid program that is killing most governors’ budgets around the country, so we want to know what we’re getting into. If there’s no answers, we’re going to have a federal exchange. I can’t recommend that we set [a state exchange] up in Virginia.”
Governors across the nation have until December 14 to make their decision on whether or not they will implement the Obamacare exchanges. If the governors do not set up the Obamacare exchanges then the federal government will be forced to do so themselves. As much as I disagreed with Obamacare, I’m not sure I would want the federal government to set up program for my state if I were governor.