Some state Governors and Congressional opponents of health care reform are dragging their heels complying with the Affordable Care Act with regard to the health insurance exchanges–in the hopes that if Romney wins, it will be repealed anyways. Some opponents in Washington are proposing the idea of a legitimate delay as the next best possibility. According to a “Politico Pro” article, those in favor of the delay strategy say that they can make a case for legitimate delay, pointing out that the Obama administration has been slow to reveal details on the law’s health insurance exchanges. The plan: delay the 2014 start date. Opponents also bolster their argument by pointing out that this would save the federal government tons of money and ease confusion at the state level, since most states aren’t even ready to run their own exchanges yet.
Those opposed to delaying the enactment of Affordable Care Act law, say it is just another stall tactic. But Republican aides are indeed taking a real look at loopholes and the possibility of delay–albeit while biting their nails as the election draws closer. If Romney wins, it will be a non-issue, which is the hope.
State leaders as well are looking at stall tactics in hopes that Obama is defeated. Georgia Gov. Republican Nathan Deal is purposely delaying action on the new federal healthcare directives. Experts say that his state is running out of time to implement its own health insurance marketplace. As it stands presently, states only have until Nov. 16 to indicate whether they will build their own health insurance exchanges or leave it to the federal government under the new health care law. The date is well placed–at least for those opposed to the ACA. Even though Romney wouldn’t actually be able to repeal the law until he is actually elected President, Gov. Nathan Deal and other Republican governors hope that the tide will change when Obama is defeated. Since Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle are aware that the Affordable Care Act will be repealed with a victorious Romney/Ryan ticket, Republicans are planning a sort of united coup to stop this law. While Gov. Deal has yet to announce his final decision, experts say, according to a report by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, that the state now lacks the time to build its private marketplace to have it running by the Jan. 1, 2014 deadline. William Custer, a health care expert at Georgia State University, added fuel to the issue when he commented that other states are also behind in planning to operate the so-called insurance exchanges.
It may or may not work—this attitude regarding the impending Affordable Care Act directives. Let’s just say hypothetically, that Republican aides on the Hill do come up with a legitimate legal reason for delay. The delay may appear to be–no matter which side you are on–a blatant disregard for the American people in terms of the final deciding vote on Nov. 6th. If Obama is indeed elected, it will remain law, thus delaying implementation only puts off the inevitable (and may jeopardize the health of American citizens in the process). Most Republican and Democratic supporters would tend to agree that both parties must stop these stonewalling tactics and understand that in American politics our system is bipartisan for a reason. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. When the people have spoken, politicians would do well to simply honor it. This is true whether the Affordable Care Act continues as planned or Romney repeals it. The role of Congress is to represent the people, isn’t it? Games and stonewalling are not going fix a very in need-of-repair, health care system. But working together to do whatever the votes of the people direct just might.