NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

States Fight Obamacare

September 13, 2010

Opposition to the new health reform law is continuing to grow in the states, says Sally C. Pipes, president and CEO of the Pacific Research Institute.

For instance:

  • Colorado just placed an initiative on the ballot that would, if passed, block many aspects of Obamacare -- including the requirement that individuals purchase health insurance.
  • A similar measure was overwhelmingly approved by voters in Missouri last month.
  • This fall, voters in Arizona and Oklahoma will consider ballot initiatives similar to the ones in Colorado and Missouri.

Individual governors have challenged Obamacare as well.

  • Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty just announced that he'd block his state from participating in any discretionary aspects of the health reform law because the state cannot afford to match the funds provided by the federal government for Medicaid expansion, as Obamacare intends.
  • Michigan and Oklahoma, states with Democratic governors, have both stated that they do not currently have the authority to implement Obamacare.
  • California has said that it may not be able to enforce the law.

The states are pushing back against the feds for two primary reasons, says Pipes.  

  • First, Obamacare will saddle public and private payers alike with huge new costs at a time when most are still struggling to recover from the recession.
  • Second, the health reform law will dramatically curtail individual freedom and force people to comply with Washington's dictates on what constitutes "acceptable" health insurance.

Source: Sally C. Pipes, "States Fight Obamacare," San Francisco Chronicle, September 8, 2010.

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