A terrible, awful, no-good bill is waiting for gubernatorial action, Save Jerseyans.
We’re hoping that Governor Christie exercises his veto pen with extreme prejudice, especially if the SCOTUS suprises everyone and upholds the federal Obamacare law responsibile for enabling this terrible, awful, no-good bill.
You can read the Assembly text of A2171 (S1319 in the Senate) right here. It’s always a bad sign when a particular piece of legislation that’s only several pages in length produces 100+ hits upon typing “shall” into a control-find document search….
Nicole Kaeding, a policy analyst for AFP-NJ, said it all for those of us opposed to this artificial “healthcare exchange” legislation in her 3/29/12 APP.com op-ed:
These exchanges pile thousands of pages of rules, regulations and mandates on New Jersey’s insurance markets, harming competition and consumers.
Forcing insurers to provide essential health benefits with little to no cost-sharing does nothing but raise premiums, a fact even acknowledged by Obamacare’s chief architect, economist Jonathan Gruber. According to a study authored by Gruber, premiums in the state of Wisconsin would increase by an average of 30 percent.
Proponents of state exchange creation argue that states will have “flexibility” if they create an exchange, falling for the administration’s lofty promises. HHS recently released the final rule governing exchange creation, showing just how little flexibility New Jersey would have in exchange creation. The 644-page rule included the word “must” more than 1,000 times and “require” more than 320 times.
I told you… legislators should always be REQUIRED to type “must,” “shall” and “mandate” in the control-F box before voting on legislation!
The saddest part about this bill is that it’s more of the same bad medicine that put the healthcare market in its current sorry state. Notwithstanding the effects of Obamacare, New Jerseyans already pay unnecessarily high premiums thanks to government interference in the free market. It was an issue your Blogger-in-Chief harped on regularly throughout the 2009 Gubernatorial Election. How can anyone honestly expect prices to fall or maintain at a reasonable level when, as of ’09, New Jersey health insurance consumers were required to purchase 45 separate mandated items including “in vitro fertilization” coverage? Regardless of whether they wanted or needed it?
We already know how to fix healthcare, Save Jerseyans… get the government out of it! Competition, portability, and flexibility (i.e. allowing folks to choose plans customized to their particular needs) is the only way to go.
In essence, these artificial healthcare exchanges seek to do what liberal social engineers always do: attempt to reinvent or reshape something that already exists naturally in order to “improve” upon it as they deem necessary. In this case, they already screwed up the once-independent healthcare market with cumbersome regulations; now, to fix the problem THEY created, we are being forced to swallow an artificial alternative with MORE regulations and government involvement?
How dumb do they think we are? This bill is a huge step in the wrong direction and, consequently, deserves the Governor’s veto if it survives supreme scrutiny.