ND Legislator Previously Supportive Of Obamacare Exchanges Flips His Position, Calls For New Lawsuit Against The Feds
Since the Supreme Court ruled on Obamacare, the health care debate in the country has shifted to the state level and whether or not the states will implement the law’s exchanges. The exchanges are optional under the law – if the states don’t set them up the federal government will – but there is some question about whether or not Obamacare will work if the states don’t take on the burden of implementing the exchanges and, more importantly, paying for them.
Here in North Dakota legislation implementing the exchanges were defeated in a special session last year after being pushed by two Republican legislators, Representatives George Keiser and Jim Kasper. Rep. Keiser continues his push for the exchanges giving a presentation in favor of implementation at a recent GOP campaign event, and is joined by monolithic insurance company Blue Cross Blue Shield of ND, but the Supreme Court ruling caused Rep. Kasper to change his position.
He called me this afternoon to explain his switch, I did a short interview with him about why he changed his mind (sorry for the echo on my side, I didn’t notice it until after I had the interview down):
“Instead of doing anything in North Dakota to implement Obamacare, I’m of the position now that we need to do everything to nullify it and to not support it at all,” Rep. Kasper told me. “That would include not supporting a state-based exchange because that would help the federal government implement this egregious and terrible, terrible piece of legislation.”
Rep. Kasper also said that there’s a possibility for another legal action by the states against the federal government over Obamacare.
“If enough states would nullify their support of Obamacare – I think the we’d need 37 states – we could actually have a state action against the federal government,” said Kasper noting that he was going to ask Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem for a opinion about such an action.
So far eleven governors representing both parties – Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Rick Scott of Florida, Chris Christie of New Jersey, Dave Heineman of Nebraska, Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Terry Branstad of Iowa, Phil Bryant of Mississippi, Brian Sandoval of Nevada, Jay Nixon of Missouri and Rick Perry of Texas – have announced opposition to implementing the health care exchanges and/or the Obamacare expansion of Medicaid to one degree or another. Some 73 Republican members of Congress also sent a letter to the governors of the states urging them to resist implementation.
Here in North Dakota, House Majority Leader Al Carlson said during a recent interview that North Dakota would only begin implementing Obamacare “with a gun to our head,”. Recent polling in the state shows that 64% of North Dakotans favor repealing the health care law.Tags: health care exchanges, Jim Kasper, North Dakota News, obamacare