Former Republican Leader Calls On GOP Governors To Implement Obamacare Exchanges

Some Republican governors continue to resist implementing health insurance exchanges in their state as required under the Affordable Care Act, but former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) is urging Republicans to embrace health reform. In an editorial for The Week, Frist argues that both parties should accept the exchanges, which originated as a “Republican idea”:

State exchanges are the solution. They represent the federalist ideal of states as “laboratories for democracy.” We are seeing 50 states each designing a model that is right for them, empowered to take into account their individual cultures, politics, economies, and demographics. While much planning has yet to be done, we are already seeing a huge range in state models. I love the diversity and the innovation.

States have until November to turn in their exchange plans, but governors in states like Florida, Wisconsin, and South Carolina are refusing to act on the law until after the November election if Mitt Romney is elected and tries to repeal the law. After the Supreme Court ruled on Obamacare, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) called on the governors to ignore the ruling and stop implementing the state-level programs. But as Frist correctly notes, inaction would only lead the federal government to establish the new insurance marketplaces.