The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

Liberal States Are Trying to Prop Up Obamacare

The WasteWatcher is the staff blog of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) and the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW). For questions, contact blog@cagw.org.


As Washington struggles with what may be its final chance to repeal Obamacare, the law’s problems in the states continue.  One major problem that has plagued Obamacare for years is that not enough young and healthy people are signing up for health insurance coverage.  The Obama administration, to coax more Americans into signing up, attempted to bend the rules and circumvent its own law in a number of ways.  On numerous occasions, it artificially extended the deadline for people to obtain coverage. 

Now, with the Trump administration managing the process, liberal-led states, with their own exchanges and vowing to lead the “resistance,” are picking up where the previous administration left off: they are extending the sign-up period beyond what has been announced, in the hopes that more people will sign up, the pool of participants will be less old and sick, and Obamacare will somehow be saved from itself. 

But the so-called blue states have previously experienced serious problems with their healthcare experiments.  Vermont’s single-payer plan had to be abandoned when the costs were extraordinary; Oregon’s Obamacare exchange cost $303 million and did not successfully sign up a single person; 79 percent of Colorado voters rejected a single-payer proposal in 2016.  States that face severe fiscal constraints, like Connecticut and Illinois, should be thinking twice before they force more Obamacare costs onto themselves; these states have been losing tax revenue to low-tax, low-regulation, right-to-work states for years.

Such states can resist all they want, but if Congress can finally get its act together and replace Obamacare with a patient-centered approach that reduces costs to consumers, liberal states that have gone out of their way to prop up a failing law will find themselves on the losing end once again.

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