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Most states bucking Obamacare, but law will stay

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
December 14th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A key provision of Obamacare isn't working as planned with only 15 states planning to set up their own insurance exchanges. This leaves the federal government on the hook to build and pay for the other 35.

WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - Tonight is the federal deadline for states to tell Obama if they will build their own insurance exchanges or if they will leave the business to the federal government. So far, only 15 states have said they will do the work themselves, leaving the government responsible for the rest.

The insurance exchanges must be able to connect buyers to sellers, allowing people to shop for their insurance. Insurance purchase is mandatory under Obamacare. In addition to private insurance, those who earn up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level can qualify for Medicare. Under Obamacare, insurance exchanges must be set up in all states before Oct. 1, so all people may apply and obtain coverage by Jan. 1, 2014.

Experts say the final tally of states opting to run their own exchanges could reach as high as 18 before the end of the day.

However, the work of setting up an exchange is daunting and expensive and many states are reluctant to take on the enterprise. Politics are also playing a role with Republican-controlled states complaining about the cost of compliance and the lack of information they need to do the job properly.

Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) said, "The uncertain regulatory environment and the overall lack of response from HHS are not encouraging the states or the health plans to move forward."

Still, Obamacare is now the law of the land, and both states and individuals, like it or not, will have to comply with all of its provisions. Some of those provisions, such as theHHS edict mandating employer-funded contraception and abortifacients for women on demand, remain caught up in challenges before the courts.

Regardless of the outcome of those challenges however, Obamacare appears here to stay, no matter how much the Republicans complain.

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