ND House Majority Leader: Implementing Obamacare Exchanges Will Require “A Gun To Our Head”
With the Supreme Court having upheld the individual health insurance mandate as a tax, the battle over Obamacare has shifted to the states. There is intense pressure from some quarters, including the insurance industry which is anxious to implement government controls that mandate use of their services under guidelines they want to help write, to implement the health care exchanges and other aspects of Obamacare at the state level.
This would be foolhardy. States like North Dakota have nothing to gain by going along with aspects of Obamacare like the health care exchanges other than the obligation to shoulder a big chunk of the cost.
Still, though, some policymakers in the state are insisting that the law be implemented. Policy makers such as Republican legislators George Keiser and Jim Kasper. Keiser, specifically, addressed a NDGOP campaign event recently calling for implementation of the law (video here).
Thankfully, others such as state House Majority Leader Al Carlson are pushing back. “We believe if we have to do it we will do it,” he told Scott Hennen about implementing the exchanges. “But until we’re absolutely forced with a gun to our head we’re not going to go into that. It is a poor law that needs to be re-done.”
It’s going to be a tough road for those in favor of implementing exchanges. Doing so will require legislation that passes both houses of the legislature and gets the governor’s signature. A majority of the legislature has already voted down the creation of exchanges once, with Governor Jack Dalrymple’s agreement. While the governor hasn’t made clear whether or not he’d support implementing the exchanges in the future, it seems unlikely the exchanges would pass the legislature.
Especially not with pressure from North Dakota voters and national Republicans. Recent polling shows 64% of North Dakotans favor repealing the law. A half-dozen Republican governors in other states have indicated that they will resist implementing the law, and no fewer than 73 Republican members of Congress have written a letter to every governor in America asking them to turn down the exchanges and Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid.
I don’t see North Dakota’s Republican-dominated legislature bucking that trend.Tags: Al Carlson, health care exchanges, North Dakota News, obamacare