The legislature spent a year studying ObamaCare exchanges. Imagine their surprise, then, that Gov. Quinn is now saying he might bypass them altogether and set up an exchange through executive order. The Institute previously reported on a bill sitting in the House that would prevent Gov. Quinn from bypassing the legislature in this manner.
But whether you think the state should set up an exchange or not, we all agree the General Assembly is the primary policymaking arm for the state. It should be up to them, then, to develop a clear statutory framework if Illinois chooses to move forward with implementation. State action on health reform should proceed only after careful consideration by our duly-elected legislators.
There is no reason the Governor should be able to step around that process and bind the state to his own policy preferences. After all, lawmakers have many reasons to reject an ObamaCare exchange. We will have little to no control over an exchange, but bear the full cost of running it according to federal specifications. The state will also get the blame when the exchange and the rest of ObamaCare end up raising premiums. And, more importantly, the Supreme Court could strike down the entire law this summer.
Illinois shouldn't set up an ObamaCare exchange. But if it does, it should only be after careful consideration by our elected legislature, not by executive fiat.