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ObamaCare is not popular. It was not popular when it was enacted, and it has not become any more popular now, especially as people have begun to see the fall-out from this regulatory nightmare, such as skyrocketing insurance costs. Many states, which saw voters respond to ObamaCare by electing Republican legislatures in 2010, subsequently enacted bills exempting them from ObamaCare’s costly and limiting provisions. Unfortunately, Obama does not care.
In an interview with The New American, John Doak, Oklahoma’s Insurance Commissioner, reported that he received a letter from Gary Cohen, who is the Deputy Administrator and Director of the federal Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (“CCIIO”). In that letter, Cohen stated unequivocally that the federal government will impose ObamaCare regulations on insurance companies operating inside Oklahoma. Politico reports that Obama’s administration has sent similar letters to Missouri, Wyoming, and Texas.
Doak views the letter he received as “yet another example of continued overreach of the federal government on states’ rights.” To him, this is just the first shot over the bow.
Doak does not intend to back down in the face of federal pressure. He issued a formal press release responding to Cohen’s letter, saying that Oklahoma will not collaborate with the CCIIO to enforce Obama’s “Affordable” Care Act:
The Oklahoma Insurance Department regulates the health insurance policies sold in the state and responds to consumer questions and complaints. Our consumer assistance team receives over 30,000 phone calls and our website receives over 1,000,000 visits each year. We will continue to serve these consumers by adhering to our duties under the State Constitution and Statutes. The consumers are the ones who are going to bear the costs of these unnecessary federal regulatory burdens.
In addition to adding new fees to health insurance products that will increase prices both inside and outside the exchange, the ACA requires plans to add expensive and often unnecessary coverage benefits. These costs will impact young adults most severely due to the law’s requirement that older Americans pay no more than three times the premium of young adults. A survey of insurers by the American Action Forum found that average premiums for young, healthy adults may triple going into 2014.
The net result of the federal government’s override of 10th Amendment states’ rights is that insurance companies will be subject to two vastly different regulatory systems, dramatically increasing consumer costs. The federal government is demanding the right to review, comment upon, and amend very single state law and form. The marketplace, which is the single force that brings costs down; will be ignored, state laws will be nullified or duplicated in expensive ways; and ObamaCare will ensure that, soon, Americans will have the same quality health care available to Cubans or North Koreans.