Heartland Daily Podcast: Domenech on Obamacare’s Future in the States

Published September 8, 2012

On the latest Heartland Daily Podcast, Benjamin Domenech — research fellow for health care policy at The Heartland Institute and managing editor of Health Care News — discusses impending Obamacare deadlines for the states and how the November election will affect the implementation of the law.

The state-based exchanges under the law won’t be up and running until Jan. 1, 2014, but the states have to decide by November if they want to set the rules for the state exchanges themselves. Come December, the feds will decide the rules for them.

But an even closer deadline comes at the end of this month: The guidelines for the “minimum coverage” in a potential state exchange. If the states don’t submit a plan, again, the feds will make those decisions instead.

Obamacare also includes an expansion of Medicaid. Ben notes that only seven states said they’d agree to do that — and the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Obamacare established that states won’t be punished via reduced Medicaid payments for not playing along. So that leaves the whole law very much in flux.

So what is the fate of red states, such as Texas and Florida, that have rejected Obamacare’s mandates? Ben says they will have a lot of negotiating leverage … if Obama wins in November. And what about deep blue states such as California?  

Listen to the podcast to learn more. And subscribe to the Heartland Daily Podcast here.