With the president mobilizing for a barnstorming tour in support of massive tax hikes and to, in effect, overturn last week's vote to keep the House in GOP hands and the gavel in John Boehner's --details here on the president's plan-- the GOP is getting organized in the House and laying down markers.
The media is focused on speculation about the "big deal" and the various scandals, but a huge story is brewing that few are watching.
The deadline for the most important political and legal decisions of the near term is being made in every state: Whether or not to establish a state health insurance exchange pursuant to Obamacare. The original deadline for each governor to decide was this Friday, but HHS has graciously given the states another month to decide which poison to pick: Subservience via establishment of a puppet exchange or takeover of the state's insurance business via a big foot federal health exchange. The rules the feds have dictated the states must follow in making their choice are here.
Yesterday, Governor Robert Bentley of Alabama announced that Alabama would not be establishing the exchange or expanding Medicaid. The latter is not surprising, as the expansion will quickly eat away at state budgets.
But Bentley's position on the exchange --he joins at least Alaska, Florida and Texas in just saying no-- is very welcome and hopefully a model for other Republican governors who must by law indicate their decisions on the exchange set-up by mid-December. Other states ought also to study the example set by Oklahoma, and sue to overturn the Hobbesian choice on exchanges being forced on them.
Only one state lawsuit against the forced choice on health exchanges has been filed --by the Sooners' AG, and the amended complaint is here-- and the national opposition to Obamacare should be looking for other governors to say no and other attorneys general to file similar challenges to the health exchange jam down.
II. The New Claims