The Evansville Courier Press has an editorial on Gov-elect Pence’s decision to defer implementation of health care exchanges to the federal government instead of exercising local control as the health care act permits.
The editorial drags out the old chestnut about Pelosi saying that we can’t know what’s in the health care act until we vote on it. Republicans seeking to score points on Obamacare have delighted in using that quote as ostensible proof that Pelosi was acting in a dictatorial or rash fashion – essentially forcing legislators to buy a pig in poke. But, the context of the quote was simply that, at the time, the particulars of the legislation was a moving target – as negotiations amended this or that; which – and this was the point of the quote – made it difficult to defend against false allegations about what was in there. (See, e.g. “death panels.”) It’s even harder to prove a negative about a document when the contents of that document are in flux.
But the Courier Press makes a good point – it’s time to stop using Obamacare for scoring political points. It’s the law now, and, like it or not, the best course of action now is to optimize its implementation. Make the best of a bad situation if you were opposed to it. The alternative is to make things worse for Hoosiers. However, the paper makes another good point – it’s hard to know whether federally run exchanges or locally run exchanges are ultimately better for Hoosiers.
It’s probably even tougher because many lawmakers and politicians have wasted the past few years trying to wish away Obamacare – time we could have spent preparing for implementation. (On a much larger scale, I expect we’ll see a similar dynamic when it comes to the impact of global warming – cursing the time we wasted pretending it wasn’t true.)