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Colorado SB 12-053: Why state insurance exchange should be repealed

Colorado Senate BIll 12-053 would repeal last year’s bill, SB 11-200, which created the Colorado Health Benefits Exchange. The Denver Business Journal reports that:

Sen. Tim Neville, R-Littleton, said he sponsored Senate Bill 53 because he does not believe in the state or federal government mandating health care purchases or setting minimal requirements that must be in a health insurance plan.

The Citizens Council on Health Freedom recently sent out the following e-mail (which may be published a Health Freedom Watch) that summarizes key points about why repealing Colorado’s Health Benefits Exchange (SB 11-200) is a good idea:

Michael Cannon from the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C. came to Minnesota late last year to discuss Obama’s government-established health insurance “exchange” with Republican legislators. Here’s the video with an intro by CCHF’s president. Here’s part of what Mr. Cannon says (Comments start at 2:45; Q&A begin at 32.17):

 You do not want to create an Obamacare health insurance exchange. You do not want to create any type of health insurance exchange….Obamacare is not just any old law. It is the most sweeping piece of economic regulation that Congress has passed in our lifetimes, in any of our lifetimes….It sweeps 2/3 of of this country, 200 million people, into compulsory health insurance.” Just one regulation in Obamacare is going to throw 155,000 Americans, not just Americans, sick Americans, out of their health plans where they’re protected from insurance spikes….because this regulation is going to force their insurers out of business.

Dumping the “Dogs”

Cannon warns that “the most persuasive reason” for legislators to not create an Obamacare exchange is because those [Obamacare price controls] give insurance companies “a $999,999 incentive to avoid, dump and mistreat sick people…” He says health plans with price controls drop certain coverage “precisely so they could get rid of the “dogs.”” That word came from a internal memorandum, he says. “Dogs” was the term used to describe high cost patients that needed to be dumped.

 Obama “Dying to Have States Create Exchanges”

He says the Obama Administration is

dying to have states create exchanges…They want it to be a state exchange, so they don’t have to administer it, so that someone else will take the bullet for them when Obamacare starts hurting sick people, so that there won’t be this cloud over whether or not they are able to offer the premium assistance that hides much of the cost of Obamacare. [the tax subsidies]

“Let the Federal Government do it”

Cannon discusses whether state-run Obamacare-compliant exchanges do not preserve power for the state. “You’re not mandated to do this.” He says, the administration is giving you the option of running an exchange that you would run yourself with the “federal exchange” as a fallback. But Cannon says, “Don’t do it yourself, let the federal government do it. I understand why that’s counter-intuitive.

Power Has Shifted

“…The biggest argument among opponents of Obamacare as to why they should never none-the-less create an exchange is it will allow you to preserve state control. I want to tell you that that that is false….If you want proof of that, listen to the people who are creating an exchange to preserve state autonomy,

  • “Once our exchange is approved…
  • We will get authority from the federal government to…
  • We will get sign-off from the federal government on….
  • The federal government will allow us to…. “

Cannon says:

The power has already shifted from the states to the federal government. If you create a state-run exchange you’re not enhancing your authority. You’re not preserving state authority. All you’re doing is lending power manpower to a federal takeover that has already happened.

Thus, the state GOP legislators must say NO, NO, NO to the exchange.