A State Insurance Exchange Would Voluntarily Accept Obamacare and Send State Taxpayers the Bill

CONCORD, N.H.—The Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire applauds the 10-6 vote of the N.H. House Commerce Committee to pass HB 1297, which would prohibit the state from establishing a state health insurance exchange under the terms of Obamacare, and the RLCNH also urges the full House and Senate to pass this health care freedom bill for the good of all U.S. citizens.

“By passing this bill, the State of New Hampshire will be standing with the majority of states opposing Obamacare, which is an unconstitutional power grab that will ironically raise the cost of health care, decrease the quality and accessibility of care and destroy the liberties of people to control their own lives,” said Carolyn McKinney, chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire. “Due to a flaw in the federal law, the more states that opt not to create a state health insurance exchange, the more necessary it will be for Congress to reopen the law for amendment, and that gives liberty-minded Republicans the opportunity they’ll need to remove unconstitutional elements of the law and draft free market solutions for reducing the cost of health insurance.”

So far, 28 states are suing the federal government to prevent Obamacare’s implementation, and the courts have said these states would strengthen their case if they refused to implement a state exchange. The Supreme Court is due to rule on Obamacare’s constitutionality this Spring. So far, New Hampshire has not joined the lawsuit opposing Obamacare because Attorney General Michael Delaney brazenly said he would refuse such an order from the Legislature. However, by passing HB 1297, the New Hampshire Legislature would be doing more to repeal Obamacare than the lawsuit could ever do.

In fact, the fate of the Obamacare lawsuit may actually be irrelevant to the act’s repeal. If enough states refuse to create a state health insurance exchange, the Congress will be forced to reopen the law. Obamacare currently says states that do not create a state insurance exchange will default to a federal exchange. And here’s the rub: the law provides subsidies for insurance companies involved in a state exchange, but not in a federal exchange. Thus, to make the law work without putting the gigantic price tag for insurers on the law like everyone feared, it would have to be reopened and amended. That process would invite many more changes than a simple fix, and the law would likely be repealed and replaced, a resolution that Republicans and 63 percent of the population supports.

“Doing everything we can in New Hampshire to repeal Obamacare remains a top priority of the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire, and passing HB 1297 will absolutely help us achieve this end,” McKinney said. “Obamacare is at the heart of an incredible assault on liberty by the current Administration. Our health care touches every part of who we are and the decisions we make. If we allow the government to control to this extent such an intimate, integral part of our lives, we have totally succumbed to tyranny.”

Ultimately, implementing a state health insurance exchange in New Hampshire would voluntarily bind the state under the control of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department while sending New Hampshire taxpayers the bill.

Contrary to arguments from some insurance regulators, insurance companies and industry groups, creating a state exchange will remove New Hampshire’s local control and ensure Obamacare is fully enacted in New Hampshire, whether the federal law is repealed or not. In addition, establishing a state insurance exchange under Obamacare requires the state to pay for the full cost of implementation starting in 2015, which could cost New Hampshire taxpayers anywhere from $10 million to $47 million a year, according to HTMS, a North Dakota health care consulting company.

“If Republicans act now to definitively reject a state exchange, the Republican Legislature stands a great chance of fulfilling the mandate of New Hampshire voters and leading the way toward true health insurance reform,” McKinney said.

For more information on why state exchanges are a bad idea, please read the following reports from the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy Studies, the Cato Institute, the Goldwater Institute and the Idaho Freedom Foundation.


About The Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire
RLCNH, a state chapter of the national Republican Liberty Caucus, was launched in December 2004 to promote and advance traditional Republican Party values, such as low taxes and spending, limited government, individual liberty, personal responsibility, free enterprise and loyalty to the U.S. and N.H. constitutions.