Monday, April 02, 2012

Kentucky goes whole hog for ObamaCare

Whether the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down some or all of the federal health insurance law known as ObamaCare may not make much difference in Kentucky thanks to language slipped into the budget bill by Governor Steve Beshear and approved by majorities of the House and Senate.

The last fifteen pages of the just-passed Kentucky budget bill (HB 265) creates a small business health insurance subsidy program, adds new ObamaCare style regulations and empowers Kentucky bureaucrats to seek and accept federal money and implement new regulations without limit. With all that, who needs ObamaCare?

The worst part of the new language goes far beyond Kentucky's 1994 flirtation with HillaryCare which destroyed our individual health insurance market and fit perfectly with Governor Steve Beshear's desire to implement ObamaCare in Kentucky without legislative approval. The two most horrible aspects of this health care power grab is that it, first, actually got legislative approval and, second, that it could create havoc in both individual and group health insurance markets in Kentucky even if ObamaCare is repealed.

Section 7(2) in the ICARE enabling language reads as follows:

(2)           The provisions of this section shall not give rise to, nor be construed as giving rise to, enforceable legal rights for any party or an enforceable entitlement to benefits other than to the extent that such rights or entitlements exist pursuant to the administrative regulations of the executive director of insurance.

 That means the executive director of Kentucky's Department of Insurance just became your health care czar. If your legislator voted for this mess, you should ask him or her to explain why. Some of us tried to warn you (here and here and here).