CHARLESTON, W.Va. (April 25, 2017) – Last Friday, Gov. Jim Justice (D-West Virginia) signed a bill to shut down the state-run Obamacare health insurance exchange. Once in effect this summer, the new law takes an important first step toward withdrawing the state from implementing the national healthcare program.

Rep. Joe Ellington (R-Princeton) sponsored House Bill 2119 (HB2119), The law simply repeals provisions in West Virginia law establishing a health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act. That would leave the federal government to administer the insurance exchange on its own.

The Senate passed HB2199 by a 34-0 vote. The House previously approved the measure by a 68-31 vote. Gov. Justice signed it last Friday.


At this point it appears highly unlikely that Congressional Republicans will repeal the so-called Affordable Care Act. Even the recently-failed GOP scheme retained the insurance exchanges. Regardless of what Congress ultimately does, state actions can help completely bring down national healthcare schemes no matter what form they take.

Obamacare is predicated on state cooperation. By ending state actions that support the ACA or any future federal healthcare plan, and refusing to enforce any of their mandates, a state can make it nearly impossible to run national healthcare its borders. The federal government never intended to run the healthcare system alone, and ultimately, it can’t do it without state help. We’ve already seen the difficulties created for the Affordable Care Act by the number of states that simply refused to set up exchanges for the federal government.

Refusing to expand Medicaid or to set up an exchange are two essential steps states should take to facilitate an end to Obamacare or its so-called replacement. HF10 takes the very first step. That would set the stage for further action. Judge Andrew Napolitano noted that if a number of states were to refuse to participate with the ACA in a wholesale fashion, that multi-state action would “gut Obamacare.”

Napolitano said that if enough states follow suit, “it will gut ObamaCare because the federal government does not have the resources or the wherewithal […] to go into each of the individual states.”


The bill is expected to go into effect 90 days after passage, July 4, 2017, and all authority for the state to run the exchange for the federal government will be repealed.

Mike Maharrey