Oct. 9, 2013, 11:20 a.m. EDT
Obamacare a different law in red states
Republican lawmakers engage in “massive resistance” to health law
Republican congressional representatives and the Oklahoma insurance commissioner put a gag on what these “navigators” could discuss with consumers during enrollment. Cardon’s lawyer Chuck Kable worried that their ability to help would be so limited, navigators might actually discourage frustrated consumers from enrolling at all: “Are you providing a disservice to the individual by taking them halfway and then saying, ‘Sorry, I can’t go any further?’”
The ongoing political hostility to Obamacare—most recently taking the form of the government shutdown—is having the greatest impact on consumers living in states where elected officials are opposed to the law. Twenty-seven states—many of them led by Republicans—refused to set up their own health exchanges entirely, leaving them to the federal government to take care of.
But some states have taken their protests a step further and launched legislative battles and lawsuits. Oklahoma, for instance, is currently suing the federal government, claiming that awarding premium subsidies is unconstitutional in states with federally run exchanges (if it’s successful, the suit would effectively prevent an exchange from operating there at all, experts say). “The federal exchanges are really swimming upstream in these states,” says Timothy Jost, a law professor at Washington and Lee University who is studying health exchanges."-----
Oct. 9, 2013, 11:20 a.m. EDT
"Henry Aaron, a renowned health care economist and senior fellow at think tank the Brookings Institution compares the red state movement against Obamacare to the 1950s policy of “massive resistance,” the name given to efforts by some politicians in the South to prevent black children from attending school with white students after the Supreme Court’s landmark desegregation ruling. Indeed, a September survey by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center found that 23% of adults want elected officials to try to make it fail. “The idea that you have a duly passed law, confirmed by the courts, that is affecting tens of millions of people, and you have state officials doing everything in their power to block the enforcement of the law of the land,” says Aaron, “is in the same corner of the box, so to speak, as a massive resistance.”------
“keeping that piece of health reform away from the population that’s going to need help,”......
The real losers in this fight may be the consumers who actually want health insurance in those states. They may have to pay higher prices for coverage, which some critics have blamed on lawmakers’"----
"many will see their rates double or even triple under the law. Healthier and younger individuals will face the steepest hikes.
In addition, many of the law's taxes and regulations apply to people with employer-sponsored health insurance. In June Delta Air Lines wrote a letter to the Obama Administration complaining that its health care costs would increase by nearly $100 million in 2014. In September the AFL-CIO passed a resolution grousing that the law "will drive the costs of...union administered plans, and other plans that cover unionized workers, to unsupportable levels."
"What we do know is that it appears small employers with close to 50 full-time employees are shifting many of their workers to part-time status in order to avoid being forced by Obamacare to pay for their health coverage."