Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has given recalcitrant Republican governors extra time to decide whether or not to implement Obamacare in their states, extending the deadline for submitting their plans for health insurance exchanges until December 14. But some lawmakers are already prepared to announce their intentions. This week, Republicans governors in Maine, Wisconsin, and Ohio officially turned down the opportunity to design their own state-wide health exchanges.
And The Hill reports that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is pleased with his home state’s decision to avoid setting up a health exchange, releasing a statement that praises Gov. John Kasich (R) for “resisting the federal takeover” of Ohio’s health care system:
BOEHNER: I’m proud of my governor, John Kasich, for taking a stand and resisting the federal takeover of healthcare in Ohio. By declining to implement a government-run ‘exchange’ and preserving Ohio’s ability to regulate health insurance on its own, Gov. Kasich is protecting Ohio families and small businesses from some of the steep costs and red tape created by ObamaCare.
In fact, states that choose not to set up a health exchange simply cede their control to the federal government, which will then step in and set up one for them. As The Hill points out, Kasich’s decision not to pursue his own exchange ensures that “the federal government will now have total control over all the functions of Ohio’s exchange, such as the number of plans that can participate and whether to impose requirements above and beyond those spelled out in the law.”
And regardless of the role the federal government will play in implementing state-wide exchanges, Obamacare is not a strain on families and small businesses. In reality, the health reform law represents a massive tax cut for the middle class. Studies have confirmed that Obamacare’s implementation is not causing business owners to drop their employees’ coverage, and the law may actually help reduce costs for small businesses.