Biggs, Tobin, not shy about their opposition to Obamacare
Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today urged Governor Jan Brewer not to implement a state-run health insurance exchange under Obamacare.
In his letter, Wilson wrote that the governor “hold[s] the fate of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, in your hands,” noting that if the exchange is not implemented by Brewer, employers in the state will be protected from the law’s employer mandate.
“Without the cost burdens imposed by the state exchange, your employers will enjoy a significant competitive advantage over their competitors in states which have exchanges,” Wilson wrote.
The letter references a study by the Cato Institute’s Jonathan Adler and Michael Cannon, “Taxation without representation: The illegal IRS rule to expand tax credits under the PPACA.”
In it, Adler and Cannon make the case that “An Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rule purports to extend these tax credits and subsidies to the purchase of health insurance in federal exchanges created in states without exchanges of their own. This rule lacks statutory authority.”
The study explains, “The text, structure, and history of the Act show that tax credits and subsidies are not available in federally run exchanges. The IRS rule is contrary to congressional intent and cannot be justified on other legal grounds.”
By not implementing the exchange, the state would effectively give affected employers the standing to sue against the new IRS rule and Obamacare, Wilson said in a statement.
“It is up to Governor Brewer to at least give employers a chance of fighting against Obamacare. But if the exchange is implemented by the state, they will not have any chance at all,” Wilson concluded.
The deadline for informing HHS whether Arizona will create its own health insurance exchange is Friday. As Friday’s deadline approaches, lobbyists for the health care industry are ramping up calls to Brewer to set up a state-based exchange rather than let the federal government operate one for Arizona. Pete Wertheim, the spokesman for the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association, claimed that if the Governor declines to implement a plan she will forfeit her “control over a state-based exchange – we would really be kind of at the whim of the federal government and how they decide to approach it,” he said.
The Governor’s closest advisor is healthcare industry consultant, Chuck Coughlin. Many people believe that Coughlin is Brewer’s brain.
Brewer must convince the Legislature to see things her/Coughlin’s way, in favor of a state-run exchange.
However, Senate President Biggs, and House Speaker Tobin, according to the Yellow Sheet, “neither of whom has been shy about their opposition to any policy that furthers the goals of Obamacare,” will most likely oppose the move.
Biggs told the Yellow Sheet, that he understands the arguments for it. He said that “there may be some different constraints placed on you either way” but that “the federal government is ultimately in charge, regardless of whether an exchange is state-run or federally-based.”
Biggs said “Congress has not funded this. They have not taken any steps to really do anything proactively on it, other than lay a mandate on us.”