Obamacare – Georgia Opts Out

Georgia has decided to opt out of the Obamacare health insurance exchange. The "exchange" is envisioned as an electronic market place where buyers can review plans and rates and pick the plan that best suits their needs and budget.

In other words, something like this.

Makes you wonder why the folks in DC would want to reinvent the wheel, doesn't it?

Deal said in a statement that “Obamacare” is a one-size-fits-all approach with too many regulations that prevent Georgia from tailoring an exchange to meet the unique needs of its residents and small businesses. It also places a costly burden on states, he said.

“We have no interest in spending our tax dollars on an exchange that is state-based in name only,” he said. “I would support a free market-based approach that could serve as a useful tool for Georgia’s small businesses, but the federal guidelines forbid that.”

AJC, "Georgia cedes control of Obamacare exchange"

In addition to the economics of establishing and running such a program, Gov. Deal makes some good points.

Under Obamacare rules, you can't pick the plan you want, you have to take what the government has decided is best for you. If you are in a low income situation you have no choice. Off to Medicaid you go.

Try to find a doctor willing to treat you. It won't be easy.

Medicaid reimbursements are terribly low and doctors actually lose money when they treat Medicaid patients.

The exchanges are a pillar of the landmark law that aims to provide millions of uninsured Americans with health coverage. They are online marketplaces where consumers and small businesses will be able to compare the quality and prices of health plans. An estimated 900,000 Georgians are expected to shop on the exchange website — where people will also be able to find out if they are eligible for Medicaid, the government health program for the poor, or federal subsidies designed to make coverage affordable.

Great concept.

I doubt it will ever work as conceived. Too many moving parts. Too expensive, and we as a state or country, can't afford it.

But we are not alone.

As of Thursday, 19 other states, including South Carolina and Virginia, had also opted not to create exchanges, according to the nonprofit Kaiser Health News. Another 19 mostly Democratic-run states and the District of Columbia are moving forward with exchanges. Meanwhile, at least five others plan to partner with the federal government, with the rest still undecided, Kaiser reported.

 

“The lack of a complete and open rulemaking process and the deficit of information being shared with states have created a virtual roadblock for governors, who must decipher what type of exchange is appropriate for their state,” said Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who co-authored the letter with Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.
Like so many other ideas cooked up in Washington, this one can be marked with a big FAIL. The concept of Obamacare, and specifically the exchanges, will go the way of Solyndra and other money pits conceived in Washington.