Perry: Texas Will Not Be Setting Up ObamaCare Exchanges

Katie Pavlich

11/16/2012 7:51:00 AM - Katie Pavlich

The battle between the states and the feds on ObamaCare started years ago when the monstrous legislation passed however now that President Obama has won a second term with Democrats in charge of the Senate, ObamaCare will become a reality and is the law of the land. But, there's a catch. States have to set up ObamaCare exchanges for the legislation to be fully workable. Texas Governor Rick Perry made it clear yesterday his state would not be participating.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry officially notified the federal government on Thursday that the state will not set up an exchange to help people buy health insurance.

Perry sent the letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius a day before the deadline to let Washington know that the state will not set up its own exchange. President Barack Obama's administration gave states the option of setting up their own exchanges, partnering with the federal government or letting Washington do it.

The health insurance exchanges are required under the Affordable Care Act. They give people without insurance an online market place to buy health insurance that suits them. People with low incomes and special needs will get subsidized insurance when the exchanges begin operating in October 2013.

Perry opposes the federal health care law that is the signature accomplishment of Obama's first term. The former Republican presidential candidate contends the law is federal overreach and opposes the rules it places on states to make sure nearly all Americans have health-care coverage.

"This is a federally-mandated exchange with rules dictated by Washington," Perry's letter said. "It would not be fiscally responsible to put hard-working Texans on the financial hook for an unknown amount of money to operate a system under rules that have not even been written."

You can bet Perry won't be the last governor to go toe-to-toe with adminstration over ObamaCare. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has already declared her state will not implement the exchanges. Key governors Bob McDonnell and Bobby Jindal have not yet announced their decisions. Yesterday was the original deadline for states to determine whether they would or would not set up exchanges, but that deadline has been extended to December 14.

The deadline for states to decide whether they will set up health insurance exchanges, a key provision of President Obama's controversial health reform law, was extended Thursday evening.

Responding to governors who said they needed more time, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius gave states until December 14 to apply to operate their own exchanges. The deadline had been Friday.

Freedomworks describes the states as the last defense against ObamaCare. The battle is far from over.