Boehner: “Obamcare Is The Law Of The Land”

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Just in case conservatives needed another solid punch to the guts after Tuesday:

Asked whether he will make another attempt to fully repeal the Affordable Care Act, Boehner said “the election changes that” and “Obamacare is the law of the land.”

Still, there are some parts of the law, he said, that should be on the table as lawmakers work toward a balanced budget.

Meanwhile, with the path cleared for Obamacare implementation, the floodgates are opening for gusher of new regulations on health care and insurance:

When the law was passed in March 2010, legislators envisaged it extending coverage to 30 million Americans through a combination of state-run insurance exchanges where consumers could apply for federal tax credits toward the cost of premiums, and an expansion of the federal-state Medicaid program for low-income Americans.

Before that can happen, though, significant regulations must start flooding from Washington, including rules for how states and the federal government will operate new health-insurance exchanges where consumers can shop for policies.

Also expected are rules spelling out the terms on which insurers must accept all customers regardless of their medical history, rules governing how insurers can vary premiums based on age and more information about new requirements on employers and individuals to buy insurance.

By the time Republicans get back into a position – with majorities in Congress and control of the White House – to do something about Obamacare it will be entrenched law, much like Social Security and Medicare. Bad policy, but kryptonite for any politician attempting reform.

What will be interesting is to see how many states continue to resist implementation. North Dakota joined several other states, including Texas and Florida, in refusing to implement health care exchanges. With Obama in power for another four years, and repeal off the table, how many of these governors cave?

There remains no benefit to implementing the health care law for the states, other than to obligate state taxpayers to a heftier chunk of paying for it. It is a federal law, and the idea that the states are going to be allowed any real latitude in implementing it is a fiction. Still, though, now that it’s the “law of the land” expect many states to give in.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. 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. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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