That's the deadline for Missouri to decide whether our state government will set up the "insurance exchange" required by the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare), or whether the feds will swoop in and set it up for us.
It's only one week away, so Daily RFT
called Republican state senator Rob Schaaf
of St. Joseph, who's been deeply involved in this issue, and asked whether state leaders will decide on time.
"Deadline schmedline," he says. "An artificial deadline by the federal government doesn't scare me."
Schaaf is not
a fan of Obamacare -- so much so, in fact, he seems to have moved into a weird spot, ideology-wise: As a member of the GOP, he likes
lower taxes for people, but not when Obamacare lowers them.
is the lawmaker who spearheaded the effort to put Prop E on the ballot.
The idea behind Prop E was this: If a statewide insurance exchange
required by Obamacare must come to pass in Missouri, then it should
only be set up with the explicit blessing of the General Assembly and/or
the citizenry, and not by gubernatorial fiat.
(This measure arose
out of the fear that Governor Jay Nixon's administration was
implementing the health law on the sly; with Prop E, Schaaf and his
colleagues sought to guarantee themselves some say in how it gets done).
Last Tuesday, Missouri voters agreed with Schaaf, and passed
But here's the thing: There's really no "if" anymore about
Obamacare. It's happening
. The Supreme Court upheld the law in June, and any hope of repealing it withered when the president got re-elected.
means the uninsured will have to buy insurance (a.k.a. "the individual
mandate"). It also means they'll be able to do this, in Missouri and in
every state, by going to a statewide "exchange," which will be something
like Expedia or Travelocity but for health plans.
exchange can basically only get legs with legislative approval, thanks
to Prop E. But Obamacare gives lawmakers an out: If any state fails or
refuses to set up an exchange, then the feds will come in and do it
So Daily RFT
asked Schaff on Thursday which
he would prefer. You would think he'd want that power and control, since
he worked so hard to get it. But no.
November 16, folks.