ObamaCare Exchange Update

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Rep. Jerry Dockham is the primary sponsor of HB115, to establish a needless ObamaCare Exchange in North Carolina, but his answers in the House Insurance Committee today are worrisome for those who want to limit government intervention. A sampling:

  • Dockham does not have any real idea of how much taxes will need to rise to make the exchange self-sustaining
  • He is confused about the board that oversees the exchange and the staff needed to administer the exchange. Dockham said he wants the board to be small to keep costs down, but the $22 million annual cost projected by Milliman is staff cost, not board member cost. Does Rep. Dockham think a smaller Board of Governors would mean lower cost for the UNC system?
  • In regulations, Dockham wants the exchange to be more restrictive than the Utah exchange, which is the favorite of conservatives who like exchanges, so the North Carolina exchange would not be the least intrusive method available
  • Particularly distressing for the cause of health care freedom, although Dockham acknowledged that the exchange would shut down if the federal requirement for an exchange ended, he suggested it might survive anyway as a “good way to purchase insurance.”

Similar schemes, such as Caroliance in the 1990s, failed in the past. Massachusetts' RomneyCare experiment with an exchange and mandated insurance has been costly with little to show in terms of health. Why should we expect a new pooling mechanism to work better?

Rep. Dockham inspires little trust that an exchange will actually be time-limited and scope-limited once created.

Joseph Coletti / Senior Fellow

Joe Coletti is a senior fellow at the John Locke Foundation focused on fiscal policy issues. He previously headed the North Carolina Government Efficiency and Reform initiativ...

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