NY GOP Blocking State 'Obamacare' Exchange

Last week legislation was introduced by Republicans in the Michigan Senate to create a state Obamacare insurance "exchange" here (Senate Bill 595, sponsored by Sen. Roger Kahn, R-Saginaw, and cosponsored by Republicans John Pappageorge from Troy and Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville from Monroe).

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But according to The New York Times, GOP legislators in that state are blocking the creation of an exchange, which is one of the linchpins of the new federal health care law. The Republican-controlled state Senate refused to take up a measure funding the exchange before its regular session adjourned in June, and now is resisting calls for a special session to take it up before a Sept. 30 deadline to apply for the latest batch of federal money earmarked for the project. State Sen. Gregory R. Ball of Putnam County told The Times, “I would fight very vociferously to make sure that we’re not seen as implementing and expediting Obamacare.”

Another GOP legislator, Al Graf, told The Times he "will not support forcing a back-door form of Obamacare upon the people of this state.”

The Times also quotes a Rutgers political science professor who expresses the concern that if a true-blue state like New York is having trouble adopting an Obamacare exchange, it could signal deeper problems for the law. "This has got to set off some very loud alarm bells in the White House,” Professor Ross K. Baker told the newspaper. “With a state as visible as New York, for the exchange to be obstructed is a very ominous sign for the ultimate implementation of the Affordable Care Act.”

The Times reporter sums up, "With 2.6 million uninsured residents, a popular Democratic governor and tens of millions of federal dollars at stake, New York would seem to be one of the least likely states to join a growing revolt in the nation's capitals against facilitating a federal overhaul of health care."

See also "Michigan Creeps Closer to Obamacare 'Exchange'" and "Feds: 'Never Mind' on State Obamacare Exchanges?"