Official Calls Obamacare Implementation “A Mess”

Last week Virginia Governor and Republican Governors Association Chairman Bob McDonnell sent a remarkable letter to President Obama revealing a stunning absence of answers to critical questions surrounding the implementation of a federal health care law that in just 18 months will impact every family and business in the country.

This week another prominent official, Wisconsin Secretary of Health has raised similar concerns in an interview published by Here is an excerpt (H/T Michael Cannon):

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Part of the reason why Smith says Wisconsin hasn’t moved forward with a health exchange plan is because he believes the deadlines will be pushed back.

“We have no other plan that we are taking because we think the reality is the federal government cannot meet its deadlines for implementing PPACA,” Smith said. “No one knows what a federal exchange looks like. The two major components that an exchange is supposed to do, which is determine eligibility and to complete the business transaction to pay premiums to health care plans that millions of Americans are supposed to pick, nobody knows what those look like. The administration has failed to release a credible business plan where objective observers could conclude that they’re going to pull this off.”

Smith also said that none of the states currently setting up exchanges would likely meet federal regulations and that there’s “no such thing as a state-run exchange.”…

“They were going to be asking for the resumes for the people who sit on the board of overseeing an exchange,” Smith said. “They were micromanaging the governance structure. They didn’t have to do that, they chose to do that. But that’s slowing the process and the decision making.”

The secretary especially pointed to questions on who will be eligible for the exchanges and the appropriate level of tax credits for participants…

“It’s not that they don’t have answers because they’re withholding it from us, it’s that they don’t have answers because they don’t have answers,” Smith said. “These are critical policy issues, critical technical issues. Again, what are you building if you don’t know who’s eligible? What are you building if you don’t know what the flow is out of the treasury to the health plan?”…

“They have a mess on their hands,” Smith said…”You have to fundamentally say, ‘No, that just isn’t working, we have to go back to the drawing board.’

“And that is not being partisan in the slightest. That is facing reality.”

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