Saturday, January 7, 2012

Will Idaho Lose Medicaid Cash Unless It Sets Up A Health Benefit Exchange?

That's the strange claim of Governor Butch Otter, facing massive resistance to his plan to impose an Obamacare Health Benefit Exchange in Idaho. An Idaho reporter called me for comment on the governor's curious claim that declining to establish an Exchange could result in Idaho losing 20 percentage points of its federal matching funds, which would be $300 million! The resulting article is posted here.

As a result of the reporter's persistent questioning, the governor's office downgraded the claim to a threat suggested during conference calls with federal bureaucrats.

Look folks, the whole notion is bunk.  There is no connection whatsoever between a state's federal matching funds and whether it establishes a Health Benefits Exchange.  No state should establish a Health Benefits Exchange - period, full stop. I have written a series of articles about exchanges, all available at this link.

I am blogging from a conference in Albuqerque that is sponsored by the Cato Institute.  Tomorrow, I will be giving a presentation to state policy leaders explaining why they need to avoid, obstruct, and resist establishing Health Benefit Exchanges in their states.  Fortunately, other experts, including Michael F. Cannon of the Cato Institute are here; and we all agree that the governor has no legitimate basis for his extreme claim.

Idahoans resisting Governor Otter's irrational urge to establish a Health Benefit Exchange are on the right track.

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