The Foundation for Government Accountability was honored to host Congressman Paul Ryan for a conference call yesterday to discuss the possible implications of the King v. Burwell decision, and why states shouldn’t fall into the ObamaCare state exchange trap. More governors and legislators may feel pressured into a state exchange if a major challenge to the law upends the federal subsidies, and they need to have a plan.
Washington created ObamaCare and while states have some control over whether or not they expand parts of it such as Medicaid, or whether or not they set up an exchange, since Congress passed this law and imposed it on the states, they should made to deal with the fallout.
On our conference call Congressman Paul Ryan described ObamaCare in the simplest of terms, “This is a terrible law. This law will not last.” In fact it may not last past this June when the Supreme Court will rule on King v. Burwell, a case challenging the legality of the federal health care exchange subsidies.
Josh Archambault, a senior fellow at FGA, gave a great breakdown of the case earlier this month. He said that this ruling could mean that subsidies given to the federal exchange enrollees, “would be deemed illegal,” and that “the IRS should never have given them out” in the first place. That means the subsidies would disappear.
A decision that strikes these subsidies down could lead to the collapse of the federal exchange and potentially the entire law. Ryan stated that eventually, “It will implode under its own weight for lots of different reasons.”
Ryan believes that if the Supreme Court declares these subsidies illegal that, “it’s really important that all of us coordinate and that we have something to point to as a better alternative to Obamacare.” That would give the more than 30 states without their own exchanges something to grasp onto, “so that you’re not under such insurmountable pressure… to succumb.”
Ryan believes that his off-ramp plan, “frees the American people both from the consequences of the administration’s illegal implementation, but also from this law’s many costly mandates.”
He said the off-ramp plan is “designed to be consistent with the direction we want to go with of full repeal and replace.” Congressman Ryan said that his plan “means more market freedom, more consumer freedom, patient-centered plans, and more federalism.”
The plan would allow states to “opt out of Obamacare’s blizzard of insurance mandates and regulations.” That’s music to the ears of many states looking for a way out of the burdensome costs and additional regulations that they would incur by creating their own exchange or expanding Medicaid under ObamaCare.
As also reported in the Wall Street Journal, Congressman Ryan said
“the last thing anybody, in my opinion, would want to do, even if you’re not a conservative, is to consign your state to this law.” Putting them on this exchange would put your citizens on ObamaCare “for as long as it lasts.”
This off-ramp would give states and their citizens a real choice in their health care, something sorely lacking in ObamaCare.
More from Ryan on the call:
We will put out this plan so that states will have more freedom to design what is right for their citizens. And people will have more choices, and they’ll be able to buy the kind of insurance that they want to buy when they want to buy it.
He also said that there would be assistance for the purchase of these plans, which may be in the form of a tax credit. Also discussed was the potential to block grant money to the states and let them decide how best to spend it on their citizens health care needs.
Ryan noted that ObamaCare is “extremely expensive health insurance,” allows for “no choices,” where “you’ve gotta by the benefits that the government mandates” you to.
His off-ramp plan would offer states a choice, a choice to be stuck in the failing ObamaCare environment or to be “a freedom state, where the state gets to decide,” and that these states are “going to look a whole lot better than an ObamaCare state.”
Here’s hoping Republicans can find a way to get Congressman Ryan’s vision of post-ObamaCare health insurance through Congress and enacted into law allowing states and their citizens to break out of the regulatory chains of ObamaCare.
You can listen to the full audio below, transcript here.