Monday, June 11, 2012

Score one for NFIB, sort of

A newly released state government survey on ObamaCare implementation in Kentucky shows widespread confusion and apathy even among Governor Beshear's hand-picked "stakeholders" about how the state should proceed with its key decision in the process, whether or not to set up a state-run health insurance exchange.

The results are so staggeringly bad they should give anyone looking at this issue without much prior understanding serious reservations about allowing Frankfort politicians to proceed with what will surely be a disaster.

In the report, titled Stakeholder Perspectives on Health Benefit Exchanges, surveys were sent out to 45 groups and individuals the Governor wanted to weigh in on ObamaCare. Of the 45, only 24 responded to any of the questions on the survey. Question number one asked if Kentucky should set up an exchange. Only 18 stakeholders answered that. Fifteen said yes. Most of those stated flatly that they wanted Kentucky to enable ObamaCare in the state by setting up an exchange without giving any reason for their answer. Most disappointing, the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers, which should know better, did elaborate. The KAM stated "Kentucky should operate its own Exchange to keep the governance close to home."

This position represents a fundamental misunderstanding about the structure of ObamaCare. State-run exchanges will only remain state-run at all as long as their actions please the federal government. Also, the Kentucky Farm Bureau apparently answered some of the survey questions, but took a pass on this one. Both KAM and KFB should know better than this.

The National Federation of Independent Business answered the question in unique fashion:
"Kentucky should hang back and watch the effects of Exchange development in other states. Draw contingencies for a variety of structures, but wait until the last possible moment to choose a path."

I don't know what is so hard about issuing a definitive "no" to a concept as bad as this, but at least the NFIB came close.