Lobbyists for deep-pocketed, politically well-connected health care interests are already pressing for Michigan to create an ObamaCare insurance “exchange.” In a recent Mackinac Center Op-Ed published by the Detroit Free Press, scholar John Graham explains why this is a bad idea:
If advocates of repeal fail during the next two years, U.S. Secretary of Health & Human Services Kathleen Sebelius will surely sweep away any ‘consumer-friendly’ accommodations (in a Michigan exchange) with a vengeance. Obama and Sebelius want to eliminate all private choice of health care in favor of a government monopoly. Once the exchanges are up and running, the administration will be able to impose whatever arbitrary regulations it wants.
. . . Any state establishing an exchange is making a one-way, lose-lose bet. If health care reform persists, exchanges will become bloated administrative nightmares. If it is defeated, states will have wasted time and energy that should have been directed towards that effort. Health care reform is the president’s problem. Don’t make it Michigan’s, too.
In other words, politicians who say they oppose the law but then don’t oppose setting up a Michigan exchange are inviting a charge of collaborating with Obamacare.
As for those special-interest private sector lobbyists pushing for a state exchange — Graham describes them as “IT vendors and consultants, health insurers who believe that they can dominate an exchange to the detriment of smaller competitors and brokers who hope to get paid by government to serve as navigators in the exchange” — one is reminded of a certain quote attributed to Karl Marx:
“The last capitalist we hang shall be the one who sold us the rope.”