Posted By Eric Ethington (Author) on November 17, 2012
Former Utah Governor, and the head of Mitt Romney’s transition team, Mike Leavitt is encouraging states to comply with Obamacare and setup insurance exchanges, rather than leaving things to the Feds.
Last week, the Salt Lake Tribune reported that members of the Utah Legislature had sent a letter to Governor Gary Herbert, demanding that Utah not comply with the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). The letter argued that Utah should not setup any insurance exchanges of our own, instead leaving everything to the Federal Government to create and maintain.
“Utah should not spend any state time or money” to build, run or partner on a federal exchange, declared Republican legislative leaders in a Nov. 13 letter to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert.
Now, Former Governor Mike Leavitt, who not only served as chairman of Mitt Romney’s Presidential Transition Team but was also the Secretary of Health and Human Services under President George W. Bush, is adding his voice to the mix, calling for states to do just the opposite and comply with Obamacare.
…it will be a “bureaucratic nightmare” for states to deal with the federal government if they don’t have their own exchanges, that states would be giving up the power to design their own uniquely tailored systems if they default to the feds, and that they risk losing regulatory authority over insurers that operate in their states under the auspices of the federally designed exchange.
In Utah, there are 102,900 children without health insurance, unable to see a doctor when they fall off a bike or get sick. There are an additional 290,300 (non-elderly) adults in the state without coverage, whose families are at risk if they were to get seriously ill.
The majority of people in Utah without coverage don’t have health insurance is because their employment doesn’t offer benefits (either not offering them at all, or for some because their employer cut hours or reclassified them as “contractors” so they wouldn’t have to offer benefits), or because they have a pre-existing condition and have been denied for coverage.
In our own little opinion here.. it seems the Utah Legislature needs to listen to our former Republican Governor and put a hold on their constant anti-Federal showboating for just a moment, and implement a good law that will have a direct impact for the better on more than 500,000 Utahns who could really use a little help.