After Obama’s Re-Election, Will States Like North Dakota Cave To Obamacare?


Now that Obamacare has been upheld by the Supreme Court, and President Obama himself re-elected to a second term as governor, the voices of those clamoring for the states to begin implementing Obamacare are getting louder.

Here in North Dakota the state legislature, and Governor Jack Dalrymple, have wisely decided to resist implementing the state health insurance exchanges included in the law. These exchanges are touted as an element of “local control” by Obamacare’s supporters, but in truth there’s no local control to be had at all through the exchanges.

“[A] state-created exchange is not a state-controlled exchange,” writes CATO health policy expert Michael Cannon for National Review. “All exchanges will be controlled by Washington.”

So what does a state-created exchanges do for the states? Implementing a state-level exchange could cost each state doing so millions, even hundreds of millions of dollars, all of which must come from state revenue sources (i.e. your state taxes). What’s more, local policy-makers implementing the exchanges would, after their creation, likely take the blame for the inevitable increases in health insurance costs.

Policy for the exchanges, remember, would continue to be set in Washington DC, meaning local policymakers would be taking the blame for policy created somewhere else.

Also, because the Obamacare law only allows for the federal government to subsidize health insurance policies through state-created exchanges, states refusing to implement Obamacare can throw a monkey wrench into the law’s implementation.

Finally, states refusing to implement exchanges will also be exempting citizens and businesses within its borders from Obamacare’s insurance mandates. As Michael Cannon writes, “defaulting to a federal exchange exempts a state’s employers from the employer mandate — a tax of $2,000 per worker per year.”

If all states did so, that would exempt 18 million Americans from the individual mandate’s tax of $2,085 per family of four. Avoiding those taxes improves a state’s prospects for job creation, and protects the conscience rights of employers and individuals whom the Obama administration is forcing to purchase contraceptives coverage.

After the legal challenge to Obamacare failed in the federal courts, and with Obama winning re-election, Obamacare may seem inevitable. That’s certainly the message Republicans in US Congress seem to be sending. But be that as it may, the states can still avoid a lot of bad policy (and a lot of additional spending burdens) by refusing to implement the law.

North Dakota needs to stay strong in resisting Obamacare.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • sbark

    Resistence will be have to based on Principles, It appears resistence in the long run is futile………Unless in the meantime Obama Titanic trip comes in, it might be a boat he wished he’d have missed.

    This from Red State blog comment:

    The problem becomes the subsidy. The
    voters in “our states” lose out.

    Here is how it will really play out.

    Voter in Blue State with Exchange has a small business. The small business
    has 20 employees. They are exempt from the penalty/tax because they have too few
    employees. However, since the employees don’t make a lot of money, they get a
    subsidy to buy insurance that reduces the cost quite a bit – 50% or more. That
    subsidy comes from Washington, not the state, so it doesn’t affect local taxes.

    Voter in Red State without Exchange has the same scenario, except that his
    employees don’t have get the subsidy, because that only comes from Stated-based
    exchanges, not the Federal exchange. The individual still must have insurance
    because of the individual, but he doesn’t get the subsidy. If he doesn’t buy the
    insurance, he must pay the IRS tax at tax-time.

    Small business owners in Red State’s
    are going to be feel the heat. Because their employees aren’t going to get the
    same benefits as their Blue State counter parts, and that pressure is going to
    bubble up to the State government and legislatures, big time. This also creates
    an incentive for small businesses in Blue States because the employer can simply
    opt-out of providing insurance, exempt from the tax penalty, and let their
    low-wage employees get subsidized insurance from the exchange.

    This plan will work for the short-term, but long term, no State governor
    will be able to withstand the withering power of “free money” from Washington –
    in the same way that 100% of governors take Federal highway funds (all
    voluntary) or Medicaid (also all voluntary), despite whatever costs and problems
    both programs have. Once voters learn that their counterparts in liberal states
    are getting big subsidies from the Federal government, the $10-$100 million
    exchange cost will pale in comparison.

    Read this letter to Republican Governors from Senator Jim DeMint along with
    12 other Senators and 61 Representatives for the explanation of how this is, in
    fact, true.

    Even the biggest states (Texas) won’t be able to say no to the political
    pressure wave that will be on the way. Small businesses will be dropping
    coverage (as expected) at a very fast rate *because they are exempt from the
    penalty*, and the employees will be finding that if only their state ran the
    exchange they could get insurance for up to 80% less than what they will be

    No Republican governor or legislature will be able to resist for long. If
    nothing else changes, call it 5 years tops.

  • Mike Quinn

    If any state could afford health care for everyone it is North Dakota. However this shameful state that has billions in surplus has about the worst paid teachers in the country. After the greed Republican rats have been sent a resounding message that Americans are fed up with their greed, their dogs of greed still want to deprive working people of a decent life. Instead of working to insure health care for everyone the dogs of greed in North Dakota want to figure ways to funnel oil money to the rich. None of their lying about Heidi worked. None of their scare tactics worked, but the greedy bastards never quit. Why not do the right thing, why not do the Christian thing and take care of our fellow man? These greed driven rats insist on making sure the life of the working man and the poor are misrable. Driving Rick Berg back into his hole was a start, but it is clear there are still too many of these Republican vermin still in North Dakota with their red neck agenda.

    • Roy_Bean

      Now even you have abandoned those 24000 kids that you say live in poverty.

      • Mike Quinn

        You have access to NPR, that is where I got the figure. Also you have access to census data, which I presume has the same information. It is a disgraced that North Dakota has 24,000 children living in poverty while people like Rick Berg a man with 23 million don’t want to be taxed. Everyone in North Dakota cries for property tax relief. Why not use oil money to subsidize health care for those making under 100k? The simple answer is flamers like Mitt think they are entitled to car elevators. People with plenty of money don’t want to pay property tax on their second home. Greedy rats are the main cause of poverty. The election clearly showed the American people recognize the party of greed for what it is. Republicans were deaf during the election, and their continued deafness to reality will be their demise. Spinners like Rob Port cannot change reality. All they lying about Heidi, and Obama did not fool anyone. The results are now clear to everyone, but Republicans want to continue the magic show that just does not work. The big rats like Rush, and Karl Rove were busted with their bluster and their lies. Even the NRA and its urban legend machine failed, but the vermin want to go on with the same tactics. Do you guys ever learn?

        • Edd

          Subsidize everyone making under 100k? While that may make you feel good the first year or two, the more you subsidize an industry the less price sensitive it becomes. Eventually you will have larger price increases, because the consumer is not directly paying for the cost. I see name calling is your strong suit, not economics.

          • Mike Quinn

            Perhaps if you have access you may have noticed Paul Ryan, the mother of all rats, proposed vouchers for health care for the elderly. Please explain the difference between a voucher and a subsidy. Mr. Economics. When ever you subsidize the poor it is bad according to the Republicans, but when you subsidize the rich, we call it trickle down. Did you get your economics degree at Rush Limbaugh’s Oxycontin University?

    • $8194357
      • Mike Quinn

        How is that hidden Christian doing today? You know the guy who hides behind a fake name and says he is a proud supporter of Jeeesus. You have to love a brave Christian with a fake name.

        • Tim

          Says the irrelevant troll who “claims” to be Mike Quinn.

          • Mike Quinn

            Why don’t you find out? Lying is so much more fun than doing a little fact checking.

          • jl

            hi, Emily

        • two_amber_lamps

          Hello crazed mental institution dweller…. keeping the voices in check today? When are you going to tell us YOUR real name? Do you remember your real name? You have so many names associated to your IP address…. how do you keep them all straight? Do you keep a notebook? Or do you simply use whatever name which bubbles to the surface as a result of your multiple personality disorder?

          You and your issues might be funny… if they weren’t tragic. I’m sure I speak on behalf of all the other SAB readers when I wish you a speedy recovery and return to sanity.

          • Proof

            A “return to sanity”? Better have him pack a lunch. It’s gonna be a long trip!

        • $8194357

          All that matters to me hater is I don’t end up in the goat pen
          with liberal light Christians on Judgement Day…

      • two_amber_lamps

        I’m surprised they’d let him bring a ukelele in the psycho-ward…. He might bash an orderly over the head with it while they’re trying to give him his psychotropic drugs to keep his multiple personalities in check.

        • $8194357

          Leftist ideological demensia..
          Unending supply of it comes with
          satans deceptions and lies.
          earthly utopian ends justify the means..

        • $8194357

          Tiny tim quinn
          tip toeing through
          the opium plants?

    • Proof

      Mighty Lame Quinn: If baseless insults were dollars, you could afford to hire someone to write this meaningless tripe for you. Perhaps it would sound less unhinged?

    • RCND

      “If any state could afford ___________ it is North Dakota.”

      We could consume days filling in that blank. And most entries would have the same common denominator – not the role of government to fill that blank with.

      • $8194357

        And folks are already waiting in line for it from every walk of life
        and/or point of view.

  • flamemeister

    After Obama’s Re-Election, Will North Dakota Cave To Obamacare?


    • $8194357

      With Hiedis help and blessing..
      Barry being so awesome and all..

  • The Fighting Czech

    You need to even ask????

  • badlands4

    Of course North Dakota will cave. This state is incapable of not sucking every single dollar from every source possible. NO way will they turn down a source of money.

  • Harold

    Russia has this type of medical care like Obama wants for us, and we all know how well that works in Russia through the years and decades its been in existance there.

    • Peter Sawyer

      Wow, we always default to Russia. How about the simple fact that all industrialized nations have national health insurance. No one goes bankrupt because of medical bills and no one worries about being denied necessary care AND they spend on average 50% less per capita then we do. If European “socialism” is so backwards and horrible why is it that achieving the American dream, of having your children do better than you, now is easier and happens more often in western Europe than in America??? We’ve let big money run our govt and country into the ground. I hear people say “I don’t want some govt. bureaucrat getting between my doctor and me” Well what makes you think its better to have a corporate accountant getting between you and your doctor. The insurance company bean counter is worried about profits. The bureaucrat is usually only worried about waste…not shareholders. Man, we have got to wake up and put people ahead of corporate interests.

      • $8194357

        Do you even understand where shareholders or stakeholders, board of directors and corperate governance even come from, ideologicaly speaking?
        Marxist economic soviet incorperation rule of the steering committee for predetermined outcomes of “goals and agendas”…
        The pre determined outcome of ideological agenda
        “rule of men above the rule of law”..
        The ‘party line” introduced into the mainstream for decades and decades to soften up the resistance to the individualism gauranteed by the Constitution..

        Satanic in “origin”…

        But hey…thats just the goal set by agenda the communist have been
        running on America for over 100 years and lucifer since his fall
        so what do I know huh.

  • Lynn Bergman

    Resistance is NOT futile; three states have already opted out of provisions of Obamacare expanding Medicaid and creating a private insurance group.

    The governors of Florida (19% of population on medicare), Wisconsin (17% of population on medicare), and Louisiana (16% of population on medicare) said the federal law would cost their states billions as well as boost insurance premiums.

    If opting out works for Florida, why wouldn’t it work for North Dakota (16% of population on medicare)?
    Governor Dalrymple, what say you?

  • Lynn Bergman

    North Dakota may well be advised to come up with a state plan for accomplishing the same ends. Yielding to the requirements of Obamacare, however, from all I’ve read, is not optimum for North Dakota. And after we, as a country, finally realize that these kind of programs are better left in state hands, North Dakota would be in the enviable economic position of having its own independent plan to address it’s “North-Dakota-specific” social issues.