Joe Bruno and Sharon Treat - working together for ObamaCare
Fri, 11/16/2012 - 6:07pm
Posted by J. McKane
Both are hell-bent on establishing a state-based ObamaCare health exchange.
I disagree. I think a state-based exchange would be one of the most foolish things we could do. There is no question that they will be working to pick off enough Rs to override the probable veto.
A major part of the ACA is health care "exchanges." These are complicated state-centered marketplaces where individuals and businesses will find private insurance, Medicaid and Medicare and will be directed by "navigators" and computers to the right health care product. The feds want the states to take on the responsibility of these exchanges - and fund their operation. If states choose not to build an exchange, the federal government will do it for us.
States that decide to establish their own exchanges will be responsible for all of the heavy lifting such as the required monitoring and overseeing of insurers in the exchange, the overseeing and administering the exchange itself, the navigators and the computer systems (which must be tied in with DHHS computer system) and all collection of fees and taxes to fund the exchange.
Yet states will have little if any real control over a state exchange - it is still up to the whims of feds in charge of the ACA. State control in this case is only an illusion - and an expensive one.
The federal government simply does not have the money to run 50 of these exchanges, estimated at between $20 million and $70 million per year each to operate. They are counting on states running these exchanges for them.
Suggestions from the Feds for revenue sources include taxes on insurance premiums, a targeted sales tax, an "unhealthy" food tax or perhaps a targeted income tax.
These funds would come out of Maine's health care system and our economy. Maine does not have an economy strong enough to support these new taxes and we only recently repealed through a people's veto a tax on beer, wine, soda and health claims that was to be used to fund Dirigo Health.