Guest Post: State-Run Exchanges Don’t Mean Local Control

During this special session, the North Dakota legislature will be deciding whether or not they should become the first state in the country to start implementing Obamacare. Specifically, the issue at hand is whether or not the state government should set up health insurance exchanges with a grant received by the federal government or they should let the federal government set up the exchange in North Dakota.

At first glance, conservatives might say that our state government should setup and run the exchanges. After all, bureaucrats in North Dakota are better than bureaucrats in Washington, DC. The prevailing wisdom is that since North Dakota would more efficiently run the health insurance exchanges, we should set them up. That, however, ignores the fundamental realities about Obamacare.

Let me refer you to a recent BS Alert published by yours truly:

The problem is, according to Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute, that the US Department of Health and Human Services will still determine whether or not your exchanges are in compliance. In other words, local control is a mirage. Furthermore, those who believe that Obamacare may be unconstitutional – which is 101 of the 141 state legislators – would be violating their oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution if they participate in facilitating the implementation of anything that they believe may be unconstitutional.

And, as Cannon points out, by participating in creating the exchanges, states are legitimizing Obamacare and, thus, will make it harder to repeal.
Lastly, the insurance companies that will be given billions of dollars through the exchanges would spend a lot of money to make sure that the law never gets repealed.

North Dakota should wait until more of the rules regulating the exchanges become available, and wait until an administration in Washington, DC is more favorable toward the states and health care freedom. And reject the money. The federal grants used to get the exchanges off the ground won’t be around forever. Eventually, the state – if they decide to manage it right now – will have to pick up he costs of administering the exchange. Kansas recently returned $31.5 million.

State-run exchanges will not be state run. North Dakota participating in the exchanges is BS.

Brett Narloch of the executive director of the North Dakota Policy Council.

Brett helped start the North Dakota Policy Council in 2007. Narloch was born in Minto, N.D., and is a lifelong resident of North Dakota. He attended UND and graduated in 2004 with honors in history. He has written for several publications, including the Dakota Beacon and the State Policy Network newsletter. Narloch also gives speeches about the value of freedom and how individual and economic liberty leads to a better society. He is the author of "Moving Forward: A North Dakotan's Guide to Public Policy." Narloch lives in Bismarck with his wife, Lindsey, daughter Harper, and their dog, Freddy.

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