Many opponents of ObamaCare believed that the battle was lost after the Supreme Court ruling that upheld the heart of the law — the individual mandate — this summer and after President Obama won re-election last week.
While these events all but ensure that the law will go into effect as planned, the Supreme Court’s decision did give states the ability to fight back against ObamaCare by allowing them to opt-out of the health insurance exchanges, which would cost millions for each state to implement and give the federal government control over picking and choosing what plans could be sold.
Today is the deadline for states to tell the federal government where or not they’re going to participate in the exchanges and the expansion of Medicaid, which is even more costly to taxpayers. Of course, this deadline is meaningless. As Michael Cannon recently explained it “is no more real than the ‘deadlines’ for implementing REAL ID, which have been pushed back repeatedly since 2008.”
Before the Supreme Court ruling, Cannon explained why the exchanges are a terrible idea and how states can limit the impact of the law by refusing to participate and how it could be good for states because it will make the cost of doing business cheaper:
The more states that opt-out of the exchanges and expansion of Medicaid, the more problems it causes for the Obama Administration. As of today, 18 states have opted out of the insurance exchanges — Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, and Wyoming. At least a few more states are expected to join the list by the end of the day.
There isn’t much we can do to stop ObamaCare, which is much more expensive to taxpayers than originally estimated, prompting insurers to raise premiums, and is causing business to cut hours and raise prices to deal with the costs the law is bringing on them. But the states represent the last line of defense in beating back at least some of the cost of the law on taxpayers.