published Monday, February 27th, 2012

Tennessee, Georgia right not to rush into ObamaCare

Supporters of the ObamaCare socialized medicine law are complaining that many states are not moving fast enough to set up the layers upon layers of bureaucracy required by the law, which Democrats alone passed in 2010.

At issue are the so-called health insurance exchanges. States must set up those exchanges, or else the federal government will step in.

Only 13 states and the District of Columbia have set up the exchanges so far.

"An additional 17 states are making headway, but it's not clear all will succeed," The Associated Press reported. And 20 more states -- including Tennessee and Georgia -- are labeled as "lagging."

But even in states that have set up the exchanges, officials admit that the bureaucracy involved is mind-boggling.

"It's a very heavy lift," Diana Dooley, California's health secretary, told the AP. "Coverage is certainly important, but it's not the only part. It is very complex."

And there are other excellent reasons for states not to rush into ObamaCare any sooner than they are required to do so. The most obvious one is the massive cost it is expected to impose on the states.

As noted by former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, a Democrat, ObamaCare is the "mother of all unfunded mandates." He later warned that the law -- which will swell government health care rolls by tens of millions of Americans -- would burden Tennessee with a new $1.1 billion in costs between 2014 and 2019 through its expansion of Medicaid.

Surveying Tennessee's budget, what would you cut to free up that kind of money? Education? Incentives that draw companies to the state -- such as the incentives that helped attract the huge Volkswagen manufacturing plant to Chattanooga's Enterprise South industrial park?

Where Tennessee and other states are supposed to find the money to pay for ObamaCare's unfunded mandates is a question that has not yet been answered -- and one that was all too seldom asked when Democrats were furiously pushing to enact budget-busting ObamaCare.

Remember when then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., declared that "we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy"? Well, it has been almost two years since Congress passed ObamaCare. The "fog" is lifting, and that painfully reveals high costs and heavy bureaucracy -- both of which are making states reluctant to embrace ObamaCare.

But another excellent reason for states to exercise caution before building up the ObamaCare bureaucracy is that it is not certain that ObamaCare will ever fully take effect.

That's because a majority of the states have sued to have ObamaCare declared unconstitutional, and a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court is expected this year -- before a lot of ObamaCare's provisions are scheduled to kick in.

It is, of course, unclear how the Supreme Court may rule. Rulings in lower federal courts conflict, with some upholding ObamaCare and some labeling its major provisions unconstitutional. It clearly would not be wise for states to expend vast resources and time setting up programs that might never have to be imposed on their residents.

"It is a wise course of action to wait ...," said Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville. "Ultimately I think ObamaCare is going to be kind of a dismal situation for the states."

Indeed it is. ObamaCare, with its requirement that Americans buy government-approved insurance or be penalized, is a blight on the U.S. Constitution and on the principles of individual liberty and personal choice. It is also a blight on the finances of individuals, businesses, and federal and state governments.

It richly deserves to be overturned by the Supreme Court. But until the court rules, there is no call for states to rush to set up the ObamaCare bureaucracy.

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328Kwebsite said...

Thank you, Republicans, for this RomneyCare problem you keep blaming the President for. It's in your lack of facts and accountability on this editorial page that we can see the source of your current political failures. Continue your worship of the rich, and continue to fail to face basic facts about yourselves. You will have President Obama's entire second term to think about how Americans no longer trust you. Enjoy.

February 27, 2012 at 5:17 a.m.
dfclapp said...

I hope voters remember Republicans who gloat over rising gas prices undermining the economy and the big lie that spreading health care costs out and reducing the growth in expenses across the board is a bad thing, something to destroy. TN will pay the rising cost of health care one way or another. It is a shame that the Free Press has so little concern for ballooning health care costs and medical problems that turn into emergencies for the uninsured that both Republican and Democratic presidents have been trying to address for nearly fifty years. It is also a shame that no Republican presidential candidate or elected official has a better/more inclusive plan with a chance of making it through Congress. There was a time when the Republican Party was known for positive action, rather than gloating at problems and inaction, just not over the past 12 years.

February 27, 2012 at 5:43 a.m.
conservative said...

Former Gov. Bredesen said Obamination care is the "mother of all unfundede mandates" and warned tens of millions of Americans would be added to the government healthcare rolls. A Demoncrat has to be out of office before he can speak the truth. The Demoncrats now in office also know this but deny it, saying instead that health care costs will be reduced. What a despicable Socialist lie!

In the mid term elections, Demoncrats lost 6 Senate seats, over 60 House seats, 6 governorships, and 680 stste legislator seats. That was a good start

February 27, 2012 at 8:53 a.m.

Too bad you haven't offered anything to fix any of the problems with America.

And no, don't pretend you can ignore Healthcare. There's a reason why 9 out of 10 parts of the PPACA came from Republican plans.

February 27, 2012 at 10:50 a.m.

The Obamacare health insurance reform act will do absolutely nothing to address the true costs of healthcare. The doctors hospitals and drug companies continue to charge the same amount for their services as they did prior to Obamacare. But, then addressing the costs of healthcare had nothing to do with why Obamacare came to be.

382k, if Obama wins a second term, Americans will be too busy thinking about where to get necessities to worry about the small percentage of idiots who don't like them. Besides, you are deluded. Most americans are either more honest or more intelligent than those that "occupy" camps barking about not having enough police cars to crap on. We aren't fooled by the dog and pony show and repeated overuse of the race card by the progressives currently in charge. It is politicians in general that most of us don't like. Trying to push that ire off onto people who have attained the American dream and achieved prosperity just pisses us off even more. We aren't fooled by your ignorant rhetoric and support your right to continue beating your chest, but hope you will learn what almost every 4 year old knows. Toilets are for pooping.

dfclapp, I couldn't agree more. Too bad they are hiding the real reason gas prices are rising. The FED and politicians have printed so much money that the dollars you and I are using now are only worth half as much as they were just 3 years ago. They have stolen 50% of your money without increasing taxes. It isn't only gasoline that costs more, everything is costing more. Politicians are doing nothing to curb the spending and keep proposing ways to keep spending.

I have to disagree with your view of Obamacare. It will in no way reduce healthcare costs. As i stated above, it does absolutely nothing to address the true drivers of health care expense. Reforming health insurance does not lower health care costs.

February 27, 2012 at 12:07 p.m.
dfclapp said...

FlyingPurpleSheepleEater, Senator Alexander made an excellent case to me over a year ago in a reply to this cost question for the Affordable Health Care Act. Starting with the Miller Center review of this topic in 2008 with the most able counter argument given by Dick Armey (http://millercenter.org/public/debates/healthcare), I don't think there is anything I have not heard. However, there are positive elements that require new efficiencies, and the whole point of it was to spread the costs to all, including the states and consumers. The grousing seems to me to be whining about not having a free lunch instead of offering a responsible alternative. The uninsured don't simply disappear.

February 27, 2012 at 3:02 p.m.

328Kwebsite said... Thank you, Republicans, for this RomneyCare problem you keep blaming the President for. I think you like most people that support Obama really need to check your facts. The Massachusetts health care reform as you call Romney care dealt with the health care of 1 individual state. It has been highly successful there. It allowed members to "choose" their insurance programs not be "forced" which ones to take. It also made those people that could afford the premiums to pay the difference. Which is nothing like the handouts Obama is giving.

But since you want to defend him. Please explain how he can cut the medical benefits of the men & women in the U.S. Military while assuring his supporters "UNION" get uncontested bids when it comes to government contract?

February 27, 2012 at 6:51 p.m.
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