Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office and chief domestic policy adviser to John McCain’s presidential campaign, created quite a stir last week when he urged states to set up their own health insurance exchanges under ObamaCare. This is from The Hill:
The healthcare law envisions each state setting up its own exchange — a sort of Expedia or Orbitz for health insurance — but authorizes a federally run fallback in states that don’t act on their own…But Republican governors have rejected state-based exchanges, saying they won’t play any part in helping to implement a law they oppose.
Operating a state-based exchange gives the states the power to make key decisions about their marketplace, such as whether to negotiate directly with insurance plans or open the market up to any plan that meets certain minimum criteria. States could also decide whether to preserve or eliminate the individual market outside of their exchanges, or require non-exchange plans to meet the same criteria as exchange plans.
Punting those decisions to the federal government is “choosing a slippery slope toward precisely what liberal Democrats want: a federally controlled healthcare system that would be the first step toward European-style, single-payer healthcare,” Holtz-Eakin wrote.