Republicans have long criticized the Obamacare law for giving too much power to the federal government. Now in an ironic twist, it seems the majority of Republican governors have opted to cede even more control to Washington.
With today the deadline for states to declare their intentions, officials in only 18 states and Washington D.C. reported they plan to operate their own health insurance exchanges required by the law. In another 32 states, the exchanges will be run by the federal government, or in a federal-state partnership, the Washington Post reports.
Under Obamacare, states have the choice of running their own insurance exchanges, online marketplaces like Expedia or Travelocity where multiple health insurers will offer a range of standardized benefit plans at varying price levels. By purchasing coverage through the exchanges, consumers will be eligible for substantial federal tax credits to help them pay the premiums. The tax credits will be available on a sliding scale to consumers whose annual income is below 400 percent of the federal poverty level, or $92,000 for a family of four.
Republican governors opposed to the law were in a difficult situation. With constant threats to the law's existence, there was little clarity on whether implementation would occur. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said he would not run an exchange because the federal government did not answer questions quickly enough, the Post said.
"I will not ask New Jerseyans to commit today to a State-based Exchange when the federal government cannot tell us what it will cost, how that cost compares to other options, and how much control they will give the states over this option," Christie said in the Post.
Via the Washington Post