12 Senators and 61 Representatives have cosigned a letter drafted by Sen. Jim DeMint, Rep. Michele Bachmann, and Congressman Jim Jordan urging
Governors to refrain from implementing health insurance exchanges.
The letter, sent to the National Governors Association, outlines the various reasons for refusing to implement an exchange, including the excessive costs they will create and the lack of state authority over the structures.. The Heartland Institute and its ideological allies have written often about these same consequences.
The letter states:
“These expensive, complex, and intrusive exchanges impose a threat to the financial stability of our already-fragile state economies…State-run exchanges are subject to all of the same coverage mandates and rules as the federally-run exchange. Clearing the hurdles of crafting an exchange that complies with the 600 plus pages of federal exchange regulations will only result in wasted state resources and higher premiums for your constituents.”
However, beyond identifying the administrative and operational costs of exchanges, Sen. DeMint, Rep. Bachmann, and Congressman Jordan also argue against exchange implementation in hopes of an eventual full repeal of the federal health law.
As stated by Sen. DeMint:
“Now that we know the courts will not save us from this harmful and unsustainable law, we urge all governors to join our fight for full repeal by stopping its implementation. Americans have loudly rejected this law because it raises costs, lowers quality of care, and hikes taxes. The President’s health care law will not reform anything, but will hurt state budgets, destroy jobs, and reduce patient choices. States should reject these complex and costly exchanges. We cannot build a free market health care system on this flawed structure of centralized government control, we must repeal all of it and start over with commonsense solutions that make health care more affordable and accessible for every American.”
Similarly, instead of implementing exchanges, Rep. Bachmann proposed states should “work towards common sense solutions that lower costs and return important health care decisions to patients and their doctors.”
How most state Governors will respond to the letter remains to be seen, yet Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina has already praised the letter and its intent, claiming an exchange will not be crafted by the state.
To date only 15 states have started implementation of health insurance exchanges. Others have chosen to wait and see what becomes of the law in November.