“Obamacare implementation craters under state objections”
Silver linings? Sure, for now. But that just means the left will have to delegitimize federalism entirely. For the fairness:
Over the past week, the list of states not participating in the system has grown to nineteen as the states of Wisconsin, Ohio and Nebraska chose to join sixteen others in rejecting the state health insurance exchange that is called for under the Obamacare law.
[…]The state health care exchanges are a creation of the Obamacare law where the state would create a massive database of health insurance options that those without insurance could access. The state is given the option under the law to either create the exchange or to leave it up to the federal government to provide it.
Another under-reported aspect of the law is that the statute itself only allows the state exchange to levy penalties against employers who are accused of not following the requirements of the law. After the law passed it was discovered that federal exchanges do not have the authority to impose penalties. Upon this discovery, the IRS hurriedly wrote regulations claiming that power contrary to what the law allows.
Employers in states without a state exchange will have the option of contesting any penalties in court with a reasonable likelihood of success due to the IRS’ extra-legal regulations.
The probable net effect is that states whose governors refuse to enact state exchanges will put their states at a significant economic advantage over those businesses in states with one. The promise of lower health insurance costs will help employers in these states who want to expand without worrying if hiring an additional employee will throw themselves into new Obamacare taxes.
Currently, nineteen states are rejecting the state exchanges, sixteen states are enacting them, three are attempting a state/federal exchange hybrid, and twelve will decide before the new December 14 deadline.
The undecided states are: Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Idaho, Michigan, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia.
[my emphasis] Two thoughts here. First, court contests favoring employers because of extra-legal regulations only survive so long as the SCOTUS doesn’t quickly devolve into a bastion of progressive activist philosopher kings/queens who are able to find some way to skirt plain law and appeal to (ironically) what the intentions were for the federal government to be able to wield punitive powers, despite forgetting to include it in the law as passed.
Second, why, with 30 states controlled by GOP governors, are only 19 states so far rejecting these exchanges — and why isn’t the GOP leadership in the House signaling support for a rejection posture rather than acceding, as John Boehner has, that “ObamaCare is the law of the land,” as if the election results, which in addition to re-electing Obama (with 9 million fewer votes) kept them in the control of the House, was somehow an indication that Americans who don’t want ObamaCare and never have are suddenly eager to embrace it without further fight?
By the way, as an aside to all the genius GOP mouthpieces who told us that the Roberts’ ruling would actually be good for the Republicans, galvanizing an electorate to sweep them into power: this is why bad law is never to be spun as a net positive, and why we should never analyze Court decisions based on their (hoped for) political impact alone.
Not that it will hurt the ratings or the traffic of those who sold us this crap sandwich of an argument. But I just thought I’d mention it anyway.