Minnesota Miles Ahead on Obamacare Enthusiasm upon Obama’s Re-election
Okay, so it’s full speed ahead on the implementation of Obamacare (a term I only accept in its brevity, co-opted by its bipartisan national appeal) following President Obama’s historic re-election last week. After House Majority Leader Boehner uttered that the ACA was now the “law of the land” — a statement later repudiated by his handlers and staff — the implication was that the reform law is safe in its rollout. Turns out that the popular vote preference could not have been better implemented, as the timeline for the meat of the law begins this week. States have until the end of this week to submit plans for their version of exchanges, should they want no little or no government assistance in the matter. As usual, Minnesota is on the forefront of this path, having prepared for implementation for months.
The effort will obviously be made much easier with the conversion to an entire Democrat-controlled legislature. (Governor Mark Dayton was initially unsuccessful in getting an exchange bill passed in the last legislative session as the GOP ruled the roost.) Insurers taking part will have to submit their rate proposals to the state’s Commerce Department by next spring. All in all, the confluence of electronic state infrastructure, secured funding, probable legislative approval on an exchange bill, and virtually certain federal support (Obama’s enhanced veto powers with a major Dem control in the Senate) means that there is no stopping this train, at least here in Minnesota — where the fanciful specters of Medicaid block grants and partial repeal of future ACA provisions championed by GOP presidential losing nominee Mitt Romney — are immediate relics of his failed campaign. The legislative session kicks off Jan. 8.
Michael L. Douglas, MD, MBA is the editor and proprietor of Doctor Pundit, one of the blogosphere's leading physician blogs and healthcare policy blogs. He is a geriatrician and board-certified family physician who serves as the clinical director of long term care services at the Saint Peter (MN) Regional Treatment Center, the state's inpatient forensic psychiatric facility. Dr. Douglas is ...