by Loretta Baughan
Clash Daily Guest Contributor
Just like every other new scheme concocted by the feds, it’s only after states accept the proverbial carrot, they discover too late they opened their gates to a Trojan horse. The federal government’s authority is limited so in order to entice other government entities to participate, they’ll offer an incentive. If a state, local government or public school accepts the pot of money, and in this case agrees to build a state insurance exchange, they become financially responsible to pay for it once the carrot’s gone or if costs exceed annual federal funding.
In March of 2010, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said: “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of controversy.”
The “fog” has not cleared and we still do not know all of “what’s in it” or what it will realistically cost states and taxpayers because the rules are still being written. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ insistence that Governors sign on by November 16th follows in the footsteps of former Speaker Pelosi’s illogical reasoning; they need to commit to building state exchanges before knowing the details and what it will cost.
In effect, it’s as foolhardy and irresponsible as signing a blank check.
In July, Texas Governor Perry was right on the money when he wrote in his USA Today Op-Ed:
“As a general rule, the more a salesman offers you to sign a long-term contract, the closer you should scrutinize the deal. That’s the situation we’re facing in Texas, as the Obama Administration extends a handful of cash with one hand while keeping a sledgehammer behind its back.”
Employers and Wisconsinites from all walks of life, were on pins and needles waiting to see what Governor Scott Walker would decide. The people’s voices were heard by a bold leader who refused to cave in to pressure from self-serving insurance industry lobbyists urging him to agree to a state exchange. Friday’s much anticipated announcement from Walker of his rejection to facilitate a state-based health insurance exchange was met with an audible sigh of relief from Wisconsin businesses, and citizens, alike.
Walker joined ranks with other Republican governors in telling Washington to take their so-called Affordable Care Act and shove it.
The exact number of Governors standing shoulder-to-shoulder is unclear at this time, but as reported by Associated Press, Alabama’s Governor Robert Bently said he expects at least half the states to make the same decision. As of this writing, the following Republican governors have refused to participate in building exchanges: Bobby Jindal (LA), Sam Brownback (KS), Rick Scott (FL), Rick Perry (TX), Robert Bentley (AL), Dave Heineman (NE), Nikki Haley (SC), Nathan Deal (GA), Robert McDonnell (VA), Sean Parnell (AK), John Kasich (OH), Paul LePage (ME) and Scott Walker (WI). By a successful ballot initiative, Missouri voters forbade their Democrat governor from creating a state exchange without their Republican-held legislature’s approval.
To save face, the “deadline” has been rolled back into December. Governors’ letters to Secretary Sebelius point out there is no such thing as a state exchange because no matter which “choice” they make, Washington has unquestionable control and decision-making power, while states and taxpayers will ultimately bear the financial burden, which they find unacceptable.
By forcing the feds to shoulder the responsibility and costs associated with setting up exchanges, it exposes a flaw that 2,700+ pages of bureaucratic babble crammed into the bill didn’t consider: they don’t have the money to do it. This puts the ball in the court of the Republican-controlled House because as long as they don’t approve funding, there will be no Obamacare exchanges in these states.
There’s no reason to forge our own handcuffs by accepting this Trojan horse. Clearly, the law is flawed, which can provide, at the very least, leverage for states who have the courage to resist and stand strong.
Upper Image: Trojan Horse from movie Troy; courtesy of Flickr; author QuartierLatin1968; Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license
Lower Imgae: WI Gov. Scott Walker; http://www.flickr.com/photos/wispolitics/4991688531
/in/photostream/; author: WisPolitics.com; Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
Loretta Baughan is a conservative school board member who homeschooled her children and supports parental choice. Over the past twenty-five years, she’s been self-employed as a professional photographer, webdesigner and raising hunting spaniels.