Citing additional costs to their taxpayers and more government bureaucracy, at least 17 states have decided not to participate in the temporary high risk pool program. Late Friday, Florida and Texas notified HHS that they would not participate.
Texas: “…the state of Texas cannot today commit to operating the new high-risk pool due to the lack of program rules or reliable federal funding.”
Virginia: “Virginia has estimated that the funding available…will not cover costs of the program beyond 22 months.”
Wyoming: “…the state’s involvement would be an unnecessary addition to the process that could result in redundant administrative costs and unnecessary delays in the implementation process.”
With $5 billion in funding, ObamaCare establishes temporary high risk pools in the states until January 1, 2014, when the individual mandate, guaranteed issue mandate, and modified community rating mandate are imposed on the public. Under ObamaCare, HHS will run the high risk pools if states choose not to participate. States that choose to participate must contract with the federal government. Since 2002, CMS has administered a federal grant program for existing state high risk pools, but has not required the states to contract with the federal government.
President Obama’s chief actuary recently said, “By 2011 and 2012, the initial $5 billion in Federal funding for this program would be exhausted, resulting in substantial premium increases to sustain the program; we anticipate that such increase would limit further participation.”
For previous ObamaCare Flatlines, go to http://www.gop.gov/obamacare.