By Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey
Within hours of its launch, Healthcare.gov proved to be a train wreck. The healthcare marketplace that was promised to provide health insurance for everyone doesn’t seem to be working for anyone. The President finally acknowledged the website is faulty, but still fails to see that the Affordable Care Act is anything but.
Personal stories of the damaging effects of Obamacare on Alabamians have come to light every day since the healthcare exchange launch. Individuals, families, and business owners are seeing their health insurance premiums increase exponentially or the healthcare plans they were assured they could keep canceled all together. And now, it has been revealed that the Obama Administration was well aware that millions of Americans would lose their insurance plans under the new law.
I applaud the members of Alabama’s Congressional delegation who have been courageous and steadfast in standing up to the federal government’s overreaching and out of touch policies. We need more in Congress like you.
On a state level, your leaders are doing what they can to stand up for Alabamians against Obama’s unworkable and unaffordable healthcare plan.
In his wisdom and through his experience as a physician, Governor Bentley could see the writing on the wall when he decided nearly a year ago to opt out of setting up a state-run healthcare exchange that would have put undue financial burdens on Alabamians.
The full price tag of the healthcare law has been hidden in the shadows until recently. As U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi explained three years ago, Congress had to pass the bill to find out what was in it.
But Governor Bentley had the insight early on to know that setting up and sustaining an exchange would cost more than Alabama can afford.
Initially, federal grants were made available to help states get the exchanges up and running. But when that money dries up, states are left to foot the bill. In Alabama, continuous operating costs were projected to total $50 million a year.
In California, the development and operation of a state-run healthcare exchange is reaching $1 billion. Kentucky, which is smaller than Alabama by about 500,000 people, is spending $253 million on its healthcare exchange.
Problem-plagued Healthcare.gov is only part of the greater issue. Obamacare was broken at its inception and remains broken.
I am grateful for Governor Bentley’s wisdom and insight to see that Alabama could not afford to take on the responsibility and cost of implementing the federal government’s fragmented system.