I am reluctant to admit this, but Nancy Pelosi was right, now that Obamacare has been passed we are finding what’s in it. So far we learned that it eliminated health care coverage for Congressmen, Senators and their staffs, the CBO says most of the burden of the individual mandates in the plan is directed at the middle class, and the Head Medicare actuary says the plan will increase the cost of health care and reduce the number of doctors. And every day or two we find out something more, just like the Speaker of the House said.
Yesterday Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius bragged how the states were happy with ObamaCare: “
This is a very state-friendly law and our Administration has worked closely with Governors to both pass and begin implementation of it.”
That statement does not exactly match the truth, a number of states have begun to opt out of ObamaCare’s high-risk pool program, citing the excessive costs and unfunded mandates the program imposes on the state governments. Thats how how Obmacare “looked” cheaper to the public, much of the burden was pushed onto the state governments. In the case of the high-risk pool, the federal government provides only $5 billion to set up state high-risk pools insufficient to sustain the program, leaving the rest of the cost up to the participating states.
Thus far, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, and Wyoming have all opted out of the program, and more are expected to do so as well. Bloomberg reports that Nevada is opting out of the ObamaCare high-risk pool because the federal payment isn’t enough to cover everyone, forcing the state to cover the additional costs with money it doesnt have.
“In a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, [Nevada Governor Jim] Gibbons said the estimated $61 million Nevada would receive to implement the pool under the recently signed federal health reform bill would be ‘grossly inadequate’ to serve as many as 100,000 people who may be eligible.”
The Lincoln Journal-Star praised the Governor’s decision to opt-out of the federal program:
“The choice should ensure that Nebraskans get all the benefits of the new program without burdening the state with new administrative headaches and unpaid bills. It’s already obvious that the $5 billion Congress allocated for the national program is not enough. An actuarial study by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services predicted the money would last only until 2011 or 2012.”
Georgia State Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine sent Sebelius a letter which said in part:
“Ostensibly, the high risk pool program will be funded by federal grants made available to states. While many may see this as ‘free money,’ the taxpayers of Georgia and the other 49 states will ultimately bear the financial burden for this Washington-imposed program. Unfortunately, I have no confidence in any federal assertion that this so-called temporary program will not burden the taxpayers of Georgia. I am concerned that the high risk pool program will ultimately become the financial responsibility of Georgians in the form of an unfunded mandate.”
The week before Obamacare was passed Nancy Pelosi promised that we wouldn’t find out what was in it till it was passed. That was technically true but it would have been much more accurate if she said that it was a pig in a poke. Who knows what disasters are left to be discovered in this awful piece of legislation.