States Prepare to Push Back Against ObamaCare

Our conference this week on ?Challenges and Changes: The Next Chapter in the Health Reform Debate? was superb ? packed with valuable ideas and insights about actions both state and federal officials can take to get us on the right path to health reform.

The conference, which was jointly sponsored by Galen, the American Action Forum, and the Institute for Policy Innovation, featured a panel discussion between Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX), who squared off over the path ahead.

Sen. Wyden talked about his proposal to give states more flexibility in setting up the infrastructure to implement ObamaCare, but Dr. Burgess pushed back, saying that can?t help avoid the huge damage the law will do and already is doing to our health sector and economy. He believes it is essential that federal officials be called before Congress to explain in detail what they are doing to implement the law in writing thousands and thousands of pages of regulations, many with no public input.

Rep. John Shadegg, who is retiring from Congress this year, gave the keynote address, also blasting the law. ?Doctors, hospitals, insurance companies and others came in good faith to be part of health reform, but their trust was betrayed,? he said. The three paths are either single-payer, massive government regulation, or a competitive marketplace. The American people have clearly said they prefer the latter.

AAF President Doug Holtz-Eakin said it will be virtually impossible to deliver the new subsidies for health insurance to an estimated 16 million people in the manner dictated by the law through state exchanges.

He explained they will require incredibly cumbersome bureaucracies that must track the income every month of people who are eligible, calculate the subsidies for which these millions of people are eligible, find out what insurance company they have selected, and get the money to the company, which is in most cases will be only partial payment of a very expensive policy.

The entire event was webcast live, and the tape is being uploaded to the web so you will be able to view it anytime. The handouts and PowerPoints are available online, and the webcast will be available on the same page very soon.


States push back: States will be on the front lines in the battle against ObamaCare over the next two years as they lead the fight against this hugely unpopular law.

Newly elected state legislators and governors are facing a torrent of federal mandates to implement the new health overhaul law ? a law which many vociferously campaigned against.

Governors have been in meetings this week with leaders in Congress and the president to express their concerns, and both Republicans and Democrats are demanding more flexibility.

The federal government is demanding that states spend precious time in upcoming legislative sessions to set up massive new bureaucracies in anticipation of spending billions of dollars to implement ObamaCare.

Bu there are ways states can protect themselves from being swamped by these federal demands.

Here?s our new paper with eight ideas of things that states can do to push back.


Federal actions: The health overhaul law will clearly be a key focus of Republicans in the next Congress. The damage the law is doing to the health sector and to the economy, particularly in suffocating jobs creation, makes it a top priority. Today?s report that unemployment has reached 9.8% is further evidence.

The House will hold a vote for full repeal early next year, then likely move on to targeted bills to take rifle shots at ObamaCare. Three places they might want to start:

  • Repeal the individual mandate: This is by far the most unpopular provision in the hugely unpopular law. The savings from repeal could go toward providing resources to the states to give them the flexibility to set up better and more functional high-risk pools and to provide help for the uninsured to purchase coverage.

  • Delay cuts to Medicare Advantage: Seniors need more ? not fewer ? options to get coverage through private plans as they face more and more trouble finding a doctor who will see them in traditional Medicare.

  • Relief for business: Congress must start with repealing the 1099 provision that will bury businesses under a mountain of pointless paperwork. The fact that Republican Sen. Mike Johanns got 61 votes for his 1099 repeal provision this week to Democratic Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus? 44 votes tells you there is strong bi-partisan support for repeal. Then Congress must hold hearings to let businesses tell their own story about how the mandates that they must provide insurance or pay a fine and the $500 billion in new taxes are going to impact their business decisions, health costs, and job creation.

The political battles will continue, and it is important that the American people understand the details of the health overhaul law and its damaging impact on the health sector and the economy, especially jobs creation and health costs.

Most of all, conservatives need to make sure people know that they know the facts: Yes, there are problems in the health sector that need to be fixed, but the jobs-killing health overhaul law gets it terribly and destructively wrong. Our ideas would put doctors and patients in charge of health care decisions, not government bureaucrats. We can get this right if we take a step-by-step approach and listen to the American people about the right way to do targeted reform.



Tom Miller on KQED

AEI’s Tom Miller discusses how the November election might affect implementation of the health overhaul law.
Listen now >>




States Preparing to Fight Back Against ObamaCare

Grace-Marie Turner, Galen Institute
Health Reform Report, 12/01/10

The next big pushback against ObamaCare is going to come from the states exerting more of their muscle against the hugely unpopular health overhaul law. At least 42 states have either passed or introduced Freedom of Choice legislation or amendments designed to protect their citizens from the federal law’s onerous ?individual mandate.? State officials also are planning hundreds of hearings to learn from business people and entrepreneurs the effect on job creation and health costs of the law’s new taxes and mandates. States are looking at the experience of Massachusetts as a harbinger of things to come with the federal law. Many are ready to push back against the micromanagement of a Massachusetts-style exchange and instead are looking at the much more lightly regulated Utah Health Exchange model.
Read More »

A Resolute GOP Can Chop Off the Many Heads of the ObamaCare Hydra Over the Next Two Years

Grace-Marie Turner, Galen Institute
Canada Free Press, 11/26/10

The battle against ObamaCare will take place on four fronts over the next two years: political, legislative, legal, and regulatory. Legislative actions will begin with the full repeal vote and continue with targeted votes to defund, delay, dismantle and do direct oversight and investigation, especially into the avalanche of regulations being issued every day. The political front will involve continuing educational efforts by outside groups and political candidates to help the American people understand more about the details of the health overhaul law and its damaging impact on the health sector and the economy, especially jobs creation and health costs. Legal challenges will likely grow. Expect Congress to take a number of actions by conducting careful review of the avalanche of regulations being issued, demanding information from key government officials about their implementation strategies, and reviewing spending by federal officials in implementing the law.
Read More »

Should Congressmen Turn Down Health Insurance?

Grace-Marie Turner, Galen Institute

National Review Online: Critical Condition, 11/24/10

The brouhaha over liberals demanding that members of Congress turn down their congressional health insurance if they campaigned against ObamaCare is misguided, but it does provide a teaching opportunity that could be very helpful in advancing the right policy solutions. Members of Congress are employees of the federal government, and they get their health insurance through their jobs — just as 160 million other Americans do. The system is set up to make that the most attractive option for employees, primarily because workers get a huge tax break if they get their health insurance through their employers. Liberals who think they are on a government health plan don’t understand the facts. Taxpayers help pay for the health benefits of members of Congress because the federal government is their employer. In that vein, liberals should insist they turn down their paychecks, too, since that also is taxpayer money. Let’s invite them to take the lead on that.
Read More »


Union Drops Health Coverage for Workers’ Children
Yuliya Chernova,The Wall Street Journal, 11/20/10

Empty Promises on Health Care Will Haunt Obama
Byron York, The Examiner, 11/22/10

Americans’ Ratings of Own Healthcare Quality Remain High
Lydia Saad, Gallup, 11/22/10

Health Reform’s Competition Crushers
Scott Gottlieb, New York Post, 11/23/10

Deadlines for the HHS Secretary and Other Federal Entities in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA; P.L. 111-148): March 23, 2010 – March 23, 2011
C. Stephen Redhead and Todd B. Tatelman, Congressional Research Service, 11/23/10

Reform Fails To Fix Uninsured Problem
Sally C. Pipes, Investor’s Business Daily, 11/24/10



Should States Opt Out of Medicaid?
Merrill Matthews, Forbes: Right Directions, 11/29/10

Maine Prepares for State Version of ‘Repeal and Replace’
Julian Pecquet, The Hill, 11/22/10

Romney’s Chronic Health-Care Problem
Michael D. Tanner, National Review Online, 12/01/10

Not Enough Doctors? Too Many? Why States, Not Washington, Must Solve the Problem
Roger E. Meyer, M.D., The Heritage Foundation, 11/29/10



2010 Comparative Price Report: Medical and Hospital Fees by Country
International Federation of Health Plans, 11/29/10





Trends in Health Insurance Coverage in the U.S.: The Impact of the Economy
Alliance for Health Reform Briefing
Monday, December 6, 2010
12:15pm – 2:00pm
Washington, DC

Who’s in Charge? More Legal Challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
American Enterprise Institute Event
Monday, December 6, 2010
2:00pm – 4:00pm
Washington, DC

America’s Health Rankings 2010: All Health is Local
United Health Foundation Event
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
12:00pm – 1:30pm

Washington, DC

A Panel Discussion: the Future of Home Healthcare
Philips Healthcare Event
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
1:00pm – 2:30pm
Washington, DC

Beyond “Repeal and Replace”: Ideas for Real Health Reform
American Enterprise Institute Event
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
9:15am – 11:00am
Washington, DC