West Virginia Set to Begin Dismantling State Run Obamacare Exchange

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Ju. 5, 2017) – This week, West Virginia will officially begin to shut down its state-run Obamacare health insurance exchange, leaving its operation in the hands of what has proven to be a very incapable federal government. With a new law passed earlier this year going into effect, West Virginia takes an important first step toward withdrawing the state from implementing the national healthcare program.

Rep. Joe Ellington (R-Princeton) sponsored House Bill 2119 (HB2119), The legislation simply repeals provisions in West Virginia law establishing a health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act. This leaves the federal government to administer the Obamacare insurance exchange on its own.

The Senate passed HB2199 by a 34-0 vote. The House approved the measure by a 68-31 vote. Gov. Justice signed the bill into law in April and it went into effect July 4.

IN PRACTICE

At this point, the Republicans still haven’t repealed Obamacare, and the changes to the ACA passed by the U.S. House keep the basic the framework of Obamacare in place. Regardless, state actions can help completely bring down the Affordable Care Act, or any national healthcare plan the Congress comes up with in the future.

Obamacare is predicated on state cooperation. By ending state actions that support the ACA or any future federal healthcare plan, and refusing to enforce any of their mandates, a state can make it nearly impossible to run national healthcare its borders. The federal government never intended to run the healthcare system alone, and ultimately, it can’t do it without state help. We’ve already seen the difficulties created for the Affordable Care Act by the number of states that simply refused to set up exchanges for the federal government.

Refusing to expand Medicaid or to set up an exchange are two essential steps states should take to facilitate an end to Obamacare or its so-called replacement. HB2119 takes the very first step. That would set the stage for further action. Judge Andrew Napolitano noted that if a number of states were to refuse to participate with the ACA in a wholesale fashion, that multi-state action would “gut Obamacare.”

Napolitano said that if enough states follow suit, “it will gut ObamaCare because the federal government does not have the resources or the wherewithal […] to go into each of the individual states.”

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