Today was the deadline for states to submit a plan to run their own health insurance exchanges under Obamacare, and now that the deadline has passed, over half the country has chosen to assert their rights by giving up their rights.
Just 18 states and the District say they plan to operate their own exchanges, which are slated to begin enrollment in October. In an additional 32 states, the exchanges will be run either entirely by the federal government or a federal-state partnership.
It’s now official: In well over half of the states, local governments will relinquish all or some control over implementation of a law that will impact untold numbers of their own constituents. In so doing, they are reducing, rather than increasing, control over what happens in their own states — all in the name of states’ rights. [...]
The states that run their own exchanges, for example, will decide whether to allow all health plans that meet the law’s minimum standards to be sold on the exchange or to limit the selection to a few that regulators think offer the best value.
In the federally run exchanges, federal officials will make that call.
I have no doubt that the federal government will operate and maintain a better exchange than some of these states would have on their own, so for that we can be thankful, but the irony of asserting your state's rights by surrendering those rights to the federal government is unmistakable.
It's so dumbfounding I wonder if legislators in some of these states even comprehend the implications of their intransigence. State governors, for their part, are simply relinquishing their responsibility for political gain, conservative street-cred, and anti-Obama bona fides.