Thursday, February 2, 2012

Effort to Set up Obamacare Insurance Exchange Abandoned for Now.

The effort to set up an Obamacare "insurance exchange" in Tennessee has been abandoned for now. The bill was withdrawn after the sponsor, Rep. Charles Michael Sargent from Williamson County, received many e-mails, phone calls and personal visits urging him to do so.

As reported by Nashville Public Radio, "Governor Bill Haslam says if Tennessee puts off setting up a health insurance exchange, it could miss a chance for federal money to pay for it. The exchange would be a hub where people and businesses shop for coverage, as required by last year’s healthcare overhaul."

"Last week state Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey floated the idea of delaying a decision until the end of next year, and maybe holding a special session then. That would let lawmakers put off a vote until after the Supreme Court has weighed in on the healthcare overhaul, and after next year’s election."

Some will see putting off the establishment of an insurance exchange until after the November election as a ploy to let Senators avoid the wrath of  voters, however it seems logical to me.  If the Supreme Court does rule against Obamacare, then their is no need to establish an exchange and if they rule it is legal then we need to reluctantly implement it.

I also understand Governor Haslam's concern that grants which are now available to implement the state exchange, may not be available if we delay.  However, the various States should not buckle and implement a program that may very well be unconstitutional. I am with Ron Ramsey on this.   

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