December 14 has come and gone — and President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — better known as Obamacare — has received a stunning blow.
State governments had until December 14, 2013 to decide whether or not they would build their own health insurance exchange, an online service that would allow individuals to purchase private health insurance if it wasn’t provided for by their employers.That date has now passed and the exchange has been rebuked by half the states — with 25 state governments refusing to participate in this critical component of Obamacare.
Their refusal won’t stop exchanges in their states. Under the law, states that don’t create the exchange can opt to have the federal government deal with this expensive task.
Only 18 states and the District of Columbia have agreed to build and manage their own exchange, while 7 other states have taken a middle course and will partner with the federal government to create their exchange.Why have so many states opted out when it comes to the exchanges? Part of the reason is undoubtedly political.
Most of the states carried by Mitt Romney in the recent presidential election also happen to be those that are refusing to build their own exchange. That is no coincidence. These are states with populations that, generally speaking, would vote by clear majorities to repeal Obamacare if they were permitted to do so.The elected governments in these states were plainly listening to their citizens when they decided to say no to a state-run health insurance exchange.
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