President Barack Obama’s sound re-election amounted to a mandate according to the conventional wisdom of pundits on both sides of the mainstream debate over Obamacare. They believe the fight is over, so when in just a couple days all 50 states are asked to create exchanges and expand Medicaid, there isn’t much reason to fight it presumably.
CATO’s director of health policy studies, Michael F. Cannon, takes a different viewpoint this past week writing “The correct answer…remains a resounding no.” Cannon makes 13 arguments in favor of state’s defaulting to a federal health exchange plan. There is the fact that 14 states actually outlaw their employees from participating in exchanges, the lack of information provided by the federal government to the states for an informed decision, as well as the benefit of skipping out on the $2,000 tax per worker per year paid by employers. And then there are still more reasons for governors to default to the federal exchange. So, will they take Cannon’s advice?
Ten states – Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin – have made it clear that they will default to Washington, D.C.’s exchange, rather than implement their own. Many expect Arizona to follow the same path. Naturally, all of these states have Republicans for governors, so much of this should be chalked up to politics as usual, not some newfound admiration of Amendment X. Still, there are 19 more Republican governors who have yet to announce non-compliance with this fundamental part of Obamacare, so perhaps something should be said of the ones who are following through in defense of state sovereignty. Friday is when we learn everyone’s true colors.