Standing up to ObamaCare: Where the States Stand on Exchanges

Use this page to find out where your state stands on the ObamaCare “exchange” – and to help us stand up to ObamaCare.

Since the election, now fully two weeks ago, health policy experts such as our own Dean Clancy have been eagerly pointing out that those of us who believe in limited government still have a very real opportunity to halt one of the largest government intrusions of the past century – ObamaCare.

Blogger Rusty Weiss has presented a good, concise summary of how a number of states refusing to set up ObamaCare’s health care exchanges could throw a wrench in the implementation of the law.

As several governors have noted, these exchanges will be largely federally controlled anyways, so why should states waste their time and resources setting them up, when refusing to do so could prevent the government from invading their state’s health care system at all?  The deadline to set up a state-run exchange was November 16th.

Below is a map showing where each state currently stands on the health care exchanges:

Happily, twenty-six states have stated their intentions not to set up a state exchange:

Alabama,   Alaska,   ArizonaFlorida,   Georgia,   Indiana,   Kansas,   Louisiana,   Maine,   Michigan,   Missouri,   Montana,   Nebraska,   New Hampshire,   New Jersey,   North Dakota,   Ohio,   Oklahoma,   Pennsylvania,   South Carolina,   South Dakota,   Tennessee,   Texas,   Virginia,   Wyoming,   Wisconsin

Having nearly half of the states resist the ObamaCare exchanges is a major problem for the administration.  Some folks in the media, of course, have criticized these states for refusing to “get with the program”.  Our Vice President of Health Care Policy, Dean Clancy, has this to say in reply…

But for residents of these states, it is important that you remain vigilant and encourage your governors to hold the line, because they now have another month during which they could be pressured to change their minds.  The Department of Health and Human Services has pushed the deadline for planning to set up an exchange to December 14th of this year.  However, states can still opt into a federal/state partnership exchange until February of 2013.

The remainder of the states (AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, HI, IA, ID, IL, KY, MA, MD, MN, MS, NC, NM, NV, NY, OR, RI, VT, WA, WV)  have declared their intention to implement either a partially or fully state-run exchange.  This does not mean, however, that residents in those states should give up hope.  IdahoIowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, and New Mexico are six states where a determined grassroots outcry could cause their governors to perhaps think twice about their decision, and in all of these states it would be constructive to contact your state governments to let them know your thoughts on their decisions.  

As a last note, it is worth pointing out the case of Utah, where the situation is decidedly different from most other states.  Utah had already established a state health care exchange before ObamaCare was even passed. However, this exchange was extremely tailored to the state’s needs and is in many ways incompatible with the health care law’s requirements of state exchanges.  It remains to be seen whether the federal government will attempt to force Utah to bring its exchange into compliance with federal law, and that fight will bring up fundamental questions of federalism – a state’s ability to chart its own course within an increasingly monolithic federal government. 

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