At least for now (although a statewide referendum may be pending), Arizona governor Jan Brewer, a Republican, has succeeded in her efforts to implement a key part of Obamacare in her state. Brewer has very aggressively — and entirely voluntarily — spearheaded the charge to implement Obamacare’s massive Medicaid expansion on her watch. She now claims, however, that she’s not really implementing Obamacare — or at least not any significant portion of it. In a recent interview reported by the Associated Press, Brewer said, “This business that this is Obamacare is a little bit interesting.” She added, “It is a very, very, very tiny portion of the Obama health care.”
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that what Brewer calls a “very, very, very tiny portion” of the health care overhaul will result in an estimated 11 million new people being dumped into Medicaid under Obamacare, where they’ll receive subpar care at taxpayer expense. Of the net 30 million that the CBO projects will become newly insured under Obamacare, those dumped into Medicaid will account for more than a third. (The CBO projects that, even after ten years of Obamacare, another 30 million people will remain uninsured.) Some of these 11 million people have employer-sponsored insurance today, but the CBO projects that roughly 4 million people will lose such coverage under Obamacare.
Brewer was under absolutely no legal obligation to implement this key aspect of Obamacare. As A.P. writes, “Brewer was an early critic of [Obamacare] and among a group of governors who lost the Supreme Court case that fought it, so it was a surprise when she announced she supported [its] Medicaid expansion.” In fact, it was the Obamacare Supreme Court case that gave Brewer and her state the choice to opt out of the Obamacare Medicaid expansion. The Court struck down the Obamacare provision that threatened states with the loss of their existing Medicaid funding if they refused to implement the Obamacare Medicaid expansion.
So Brewer sued and won — at least on this point. But instead of subsequently working to repeal Obamacare, she has instead worked to implement it. She fought the Republican-controlled state legislature and succeeded in converting a few Republicans to her — and the Democrat’s — side. Rather unrepentantly, she now says, “I've led the charge from Arizona to oppose it [Obamacare] — sued, we lost, they won, it’s the law of the land.”
The CBO projects that Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion will cost federal taxpayers about $750 billion over the next decade (2014 to 2023).
At the other end of the spectrum of Republican gubernatorial leadership, late last night, Maine governor Paul LePage vetoed an effort by both houses of the Maine legislature to implement Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion in the Pine Tree State.
From the middle of 2009 onward, those opposed to President Obama’s attempted overhaul of American medicine have enjoyed a distinct, if underappreciated, rhetorical advantage. Taking a page out of the playbook that led to the defeat of Hillarycare in 1994, advocates of limited government and liberty quickly coined the president’s centerpiece initiative “Obamacare.”
The president's former reelection campaign is pushing its supporters to "Stand up for Obamacare."
"Do you like Obamacare? Then I'm asking you to show it," writes executive director Jon Carson in an email to supporters this morning.
"Say you're on Team Obamacare, the group of grassroots supporters who will be spreading the word on how health care reform is improving the lives of millions of Americans -- and we'll send you a free bumper sticker to say thanks."
A big part of Obamacare is its massive expansion of Medicaid. Fortunately, this expansion can’t happen in most states without Republicans freely choosing to make it happen. Unfortunately, far too many Republican governors seem to be confused about the distinction between repealing Obamacare and implementing it.
On Monday, CNBC reported on a new survey that found that two-thirds of Americans currently without health insurance don't know if they will purchase coverage by the deadline, the first day of 2014. The survey was released by InsuranceQuotes.com, a company that offers comparison shopping for insurance, similar to the "marketplaces" envisioned by Obamacare. The results of the survey surprised Laura Adams, senior insurance analyst at the company:
Supporters of President Obama’s overhaul of American medicine are touting the early evidence from California’s Obamacare exchange (still under construction) as good news for their side. But as the Los Angeles Timesnotes, the Golden State’s version of Obamacare will mean higher insurance premiums and a lower qu
It would be a major understatement to say that Obamacare has had a bad spring. Around the time of Lincoln’s birthday, registered voters told Fox News that, by a margin of 6 percentage points (48 to 42 percent), it would “be better to go back to the health care system that was in place in 2009” than it would be “to leave the new health care law in place.” Three months later, as we head into Memorial Day, nostalgia for the good ol’ days of 2009 now beats Obamacare by a whopping 22 points (56 to 34 percent).
During Tuesday’s hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D., Calif.) declared that failing to encourage people to sign up for government-mandated health insurance is downright “un-American.” Speier was referring to Congress’s refusal to fund the Obama administration’s Obamacare “outreach” efforts with taxpayer dollars (although the administration will still be running lots of taxpayer-financed pro-Obamacare propaganda ads later this summer with money that it has managed to cobble together from various sources).
The more the evidence emerges, the more one has to wonder: Could Obamacare have been designed any more poorly? Even those who don’t mind Obamacare’s striking consolidation of power and money in Washington at the expense of Americans’ liberty, or who don’t mind the medical overhaul’s $2 trillion price-tag over its real first decade (2014 to 2023), must be starting to wonder at the sheer ineptitude of those who spearheaded its passage and penned its provisions.