Critics Blast GOP State Lawmakers for Giving Control of Insurance Exchanges to Federal Officials
Republicans frequently denounce the health-care law as a dangerous overreach of federal power. But now Washington’s role is expanding, and some conservatives charge that Republicans have only themselves to blame.
The vast majority of Republican-led states, faced with a Friday deadline to submit plans for running the insurance exchanges at the heart of the law, have opted instead to relinquish much or all of their control to the federal government.
Just 18 states and the District say they plan to operate their own exchanges, which are slated to begin enrollment in October. In an additional 32 states, the exchanges will be run either entirely by the federal government or a federal-state partnership.
“If you believe in states’ rights and you believe in state control, why would you cede that control?” asked Robert Laszewski, a prominent insurance industry consultant.
A longtime critic of the health-care law, Laszewski argues that Republican state leaders have allowed their ideological and political differences with President Obama to override pragmatic considerations, to the detriment of their residents.
“There’s a lot of cut-off-your-nose-to-spite-your-face going on,” he said.