11/21/13, "GOP Backs Obamacare," Walter Russell Mead, The American Interest
"Grassroots support for President Obama’s Affordable Care Act “fix” is
coming from an unexpected source: insurance commissioners of states
with Republican governors.
The NYT has the breakdown:
"Of the 13 states that have so far said they will allow
consumers to renew canceled plans, all but four are led by Republican
governors and have generally been opposed to the new health care law. Of
the eight that have said they will not carry out the policy, six are in
Democratic-led states, many of which have actively worked to put the
law into effect and have argued that allowing such an extension could
undermine its success. They include New York, which announced its
decision on Tuesday, and Massachusetts. Many other states, including
California and New Jersey, are still weighing their options."
The immediate cynical reaction to this story would be to read it as
another attempt to hobble the Affordable Care Act. Since many industry
experts are predicting the “fix” will further destabilize the insurance
marketplaces, it would make sense for those to oppose to the law to make
sure the fix goes through. The Democratic resistance to the fix could
then be read as an attempt to protect the law from further crises—all
while giving Obama the ability tamp down public opposition with a
toothless fix his supporters won’t enforce.
But it turns out something even more complicated is going on. An under-reported fact about Obama’s fix is that, in fact, states already had
some ability to extend plans slated for cancellations. Many
Republican-led states had already given the go-ahead for plan extensions
even before Obama encouraged everyone to do so, including
Oklahoma, Utah, Mississippi, and New Mexico.
As a result, those states
experienced less disruptions and cancellations than the rest of America.
In an ironic twist, it turns out that the states who best kept
Obama’s “like it, keep it” promise were GOP-led. On the state-level at
least Republican governments have been doing the very thing ACA
supporters have claimed no conservatives have been doing: working to
improve the law and its rollout."
11/19/13, "In Stance on Renewal of Old Health Policies, States Run the Gamut," NY Times, Thomas et al.