“The key provision of the Affordable Care Act is the implementation of State-run Health Insurance Exchanges.”
The above quote comes not from the Obama Administration, but from Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. In furtherance of this “key provision,” the governor has created the Governor’s Office of Health Insurance Exchange, with a projected budget of more than $29.5 million over the next 32 months. In recognizing that exchanges are “key” to implementation of the “Affordable Care Act,” the governor’s office is in lockstep with both the Obama Administration, which argued in its legal briefs defending the law that the establishment of exchanges was critical to enforcing the individual mandate, and the New York Times, which wrote that the “success of President Obama’s health care overhaul . . . depends on the creation of . . . health insurance exchanges.” Worse still, the governor’s office is exploring ways to establish an exchange via executive order, in an attempt to circumvent the legislature, which has opposed a state exchange.
Thus, the legislature may find itself on the front line in protecting Arizona from this unconstitutional law and the state’s interests in the 26-state lawsuit challenging the federal health care law, which is currently on its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The legislature may also be needed to preserve Arizona’s Health Care Freedom Act (HCFA) by stopping Arizona from becoming complicit in federal health care law.
Whether state or federally established, exchanges are government-sanctioned cartels where only government-approved insurers can sell only government-approved insurance. While proponents claim that states should establish an exchange in order to fend off a federally established one and preserve state control, a review of the law and proposed regulations reveal that establishing an exchange will accomplish none of these objectives. Following are select provisions of the law and the proposed regulations that show the extent of federal control over the exchanges. These provisions show that states will not be able to maintain any meaningful control or “flexibility” by establishing an exchange. Likewise, they show that any state that establishes an exchange will be enforcing the individual mandate.