Governor-elect Mike Pence is sticking by the position he took prior to the election--no state-run health exchange to implement Obamacare. The Affordable Health Care Act provided funds to the states to establish health care exchanges, which would allow consumers to shop online for the private health care plan that best suited their needs. Obamacare, when fully implemented, requires everyone to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty to the federal government. The Family & Social Services Administration has estimated that 638,000 Hoosiers are expected to enroll in the exchange. In the absence of a state-run exchange, bureaucrats in Washington will establish exchanges for non-participating states. Here's the statement Pence released today:
“I do not believe the State of Indiana should establish a state-based health insurance exchange because doing so will cost taxpayers millions of dollars and it is not clear that Hoosiers would benefit from incurring the cost of implementing this new federal healthcare bureaucracy,” Pence said in his letter. “Without knowing more details on the cost and nature of state-based exchanges, it is possible that our state could be placed in the untenable position of serving as the administrator of a new federal healthcare bureaucracy over which we have little control.”According to the Star, the state of Indiana received $7.9 million to set up the exchange, but it's not required to return the money if it chooses not to implement the exchange. I'm not sure why the federal government would dole out money to the states it doesn't have and then let them keep it if they choose not to use the money for which it is given, but then again, nobody in Washington seems to care about where taxpayer dollars go. In Washington, they just shake the money tree until enough money falls to the ground.
UPDATE: Florida's conservative Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who made a fortune as a health care executive, has reversed course and is taking the opposite approach as Pence. "The election is over and President Obama won," Scott told the AP. "I'm responsible for the families of Florida ... If I can get to yes, I want to get to yes." "I don't think anyone involved in trying to improve health care should say `no, no, no," said Scott "Let's have a conversation."