Monday, April 07, 2014

KY Obamacrats covering wrong flanks

There are three issues the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange (ObamaCare) people must overcome in the next nine days and they are focusing on only two.

Before the 2014 General Assembly shuts down at midnight on April 15, unfinished business for Gov. Steve Beshear's exchange includes finding a funding (tax) source to finance some $40 million or more in annual expenses, gaining legislative approval to continue to exist as a state-run exchange and obtaining legislative approval to spend state money for continuing operations after federal money runs out early in 2015. Predictably, Beshear and friends are focused only on finding a pot of money in the bloated Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) in Frankfort.

They appear to have settled on a consolidation of agencies involved in services for the aged to shake free enough money to keep the ridiculous ObamaCare salaries flowing. This must be done because the legislature has not granted the governor authority to create a new tax to fund the exchange. While Kentucky's Constitution prohibits spending unappropriated funds, some ambiguity in state law and in the mission of CHFS may give the Obamacrats confidence they can slip some tens of millions of dollars in spending past their local court of law and lessen the need for a new tax.

But the impending death of House Bill 505 starts the undoing of ObamaCare in Kentucky. That bill would have ratified Gov. Beshear's 2013 executive order creating the exchange and a tax to fund it. The executive order will then expire on July 15, requiring the organization of CHFS to return to the form it was in prior to the 2013 executive order, which replaced -- illegally -- an expiring 2012 executive order creating the exchange without a funding mechanism. Failure to ratify that one puts us back to the time before any effort was made to create a state-run exchange.

Four federal lawsuits converging on the U.S. Supreme Court would eliminate the Internal Revenue Service's ability to tax citizens for ObamaCare in states without state-run exchanges, in keeping with the plain language of the "Affordable Care Act." In short, Kentucky is very nearly out of ObamaCare.

Don't let them fool you: this fight is far from over.