It’s Not a Gift if They Don’t Want It

February 15, 2011

Last Friday Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, wrote an Op-Ed in the Washington Post titled, “Health-care reform, the states’ way. Her opening paragraphs assert that Obamacare (The Affordable Care Act) puts states in the driver’s seat…” and she further states that, “states aren’t just participating in implementation of the law; they’re leading it.” She said that it was frustrating to hear opponents of reform falsely attack the law as “nationalized health care.”

Her statements somehow ignore the fact that the states don’t now want, and never did want, Obamacare. If the Federal Government tries to give the “gift” of Obamacare to the states and they don’t want it, and the government forces it down their throat anyway, then I call that nationalized health care.

If the states want Obamacare, if they want to be in the driver’s seat, if they want to lead the implementation, why have more than half of the states (currently 28) included their names as plaintiffs in legal challenges to Obamacare?

The administration has certainly tried to bribe the states into accepting this “gift”. They’ve already given the states funds to establish the exchanges, due to begin in 2014, and promised to pay all of the state’s costs through 2015. They’ve given the states “flexibility” to choose what types of benefit plans they will offer, provided they meet the basic requirements dictated by the federal government. Since the Administration recognizes that already stretched state budgets are going to be completely shattered by the huge increase in Medicaid costs the federal government has offered, “new options and federal support to help states bring down these expenses, such as through (sic) cost-effective models known (sic) in which teams of doctors, nurses and other health professionals work together to help patients manage their chronic conditions.” What this really means is the federal government will again try to bribe the states with money and will use teams of doctors, nurses and other health professionals (I don’t see anything here about YOUR doctor) to dictate how you will be treated. Remember, the purpose of these teams is to bring down costs. Secretary Sebelius did recognize that, “The law does make Medicaid available to more working families. But the federal government will cover 96 percent of this expansion…”

Here’s what’s really happening, the federal government passed a law that the states don’t want, that will increase the states costs, will dictate the types of insurance the states can offer, put teams in charge of deciding how our health care will be administered, and pay for it by cutting the existing Medicare benefits (remember the $500 billion) or using tax money that we don’t have to try and bribe the states into accepting this “gift”

The states (at least 28 of them) aren’t falling for it, they don’t want gifts. What they really want is to get rid of the regulations and the federal government’s intrusion. Some states, like Utah, have already set up exchanges. We should get rid of the boundaries on competition and all of the onerous regulations, and we should free all the states to do what they do best, take care of their own state and their own people, without national health care.