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VA: Conservatives see new silver lining in Obamacare fight

By   /   November 9, 2012  /   20 Comments

NOT GONNA DO IT: McDonnell has opted to not move forward with a state health insurance exchange, energizing some conservative activists.

By Kathryn Watson – Watchdog Virginia

ALEXANDRIA — Gov. Bob McDonnell says it’s going to be up to the federal government to bring the Affordable Care Act and its health-insurance exchanges to Virginia.

He’s not going to do it.

With a week remaining before a Nov. 16 deadline for submitting plans for a health-insurance exchange to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, McDonnell laid the issue at the feet of the feds.

“I don’t want to buy a pig in a poke for the taxpayers of  Virginia,” McDonnell ” told reporters on Thursday.

Going against his April declaration in HB 2434 to move forward with a state exchange — a virtual marketplace in which people can purchase health insurance coverage from government-vetted insurers — McDonnell surprised even the conservative advocates like Americans for Prosperity Virginia State Director Audrey Jackson, who had opposed a state exchange.

But Jackson and tea party activists see the governor’s path as a potentially winning strategy to undermine Obamacare.

“Federal exchanges have to be funded through the federal government, and since those funding bills have to go through Congress, they’re not going to be funded,” Jackson predicted.

That, at least, is the hope for Jackson and other conservative groups like AFP. While states have to fund exchanges they set in up — to the tune of roughly $50 million to $100 million per year per state, according to AFP State Policy Manager Nicole Kaeding — the feds are responsible for funding federal exchanges.

“Given the financial status of the federal government with the high debt levels and the deficits, I think that casts doubt on the ability of the government to expand the bureaucracy further,” said Mark Daugherty, chairman of the Federation of the Virginia Tea Party Patriots.

Of course, the possibility of funding any federal exchange through new taxes is always a concern, said Jackson.

“We’ll continue to fight tax increases,” said Jackson.

Daughtery said tea party members are ready for the fight.

“Tea party folks going forward (will) continue to put pressure on our respective congressmen and congresswomen,” Daugherty said.

At the state level, Kaeding said AFP will be working to make sure the Legislature doesn’t try to push a state exchange in January.

“We’re working hard to make sure that outcome is met,” said Kaeding. “And we would love to even see them proactively pass a piece of legislation saying that they will not create an exchange.”

Karen Hurd, chair emeritus of the Virginia Tea Party Alliance, said tea party members are turning their attention to the 2013 gubernatorial race, in which Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling have both announced bids for the Republican ticket.

“We know Cuccinelli will fight it,” said Hurd. “I don’t know how hard (Lt. Gov.) Bolling will.”

Kathryn Watson can be reached at katie@watchdogvirginia.org. 

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Kathryn Watson is an investigative reporter for Watchdog.org's Virginia Bureau. Her work has appeared in places like Drudge Report, Washington Examiner, Reason and Human Events, and she has made appearances on Fox News and NBC4. An alumna of the National Journalism Center, Katie is a member of Investigative Reporters Editors. She graduated with a journalism degree and highest honors from Biola University in L.A., where she ran the student newspaper. Her work has earned her "Best in Show" and two first-place awards from the Virginia Press Association.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AngieFaut Angie Faut

    Good news :)

  • indyfan2

    As long as the teaparty continues to fight the Affordable Health Care Act we will continue to slip into third world status.

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.gillespie.3766 Michael Gillespie

    If they do set them up it will end private insurance companies they will be smothered with regulations

  • ted

    When the teaparty stops fighting the Affordable Health Care Act we will continue to slip into third world status.

  • http://www.facebook.com/frank.miller.330467 Frank Miller

    Didn’t this yahoo, old Vagina Probe Boy get the memo? Boehner said the AFA is the law of the land. Time to play along. I hope that when the Feds have to set up exchanges for states who opt out do so, and send them the bill (or just subtract it from other Federal Payments. Can you spell Impeachment Proceedings?

  • suzy_que

    Take a look at a blue, blue state that has been setting these exchanges up for a while now and the corruption is terrible. Contracts awarded to relatives with huge amounts of money! Wish I could say more and where.

  • http://smallthoughtsfromasmallmind.wordpress.com/ Charles Kirtley

    The Tea Party should found a new political party based on constitutionalism. I’m tired of hearing how that will give elections to Democrats. The Republicans govern like Democrats, and the establishment run candidates like Dole, Bush 43, McCain, and Romney are worthless anyway. The Republicans are too much a part of the Washington establishment to be changed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/grace.morris.16 Grace Morris

    Impeachment Proceedings should be started against Obama for the 4 Americans killed in Libya including the Ambassador, he lied & is still covering it up…he never ordered to help save their lives…he’s such a liar!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/grace.morris.16 Grace Morris

    We’re already slipping into it with Obama leading us there…if the Teaparty doesn’t continue fighting it we will drop into 3rd world status head 1st come 2014. You just don’t know what healthcare will become…you think it will remain the same except be free…NO such luck…you will wait all day for a doctor appointment 1st come 1st served, months to see a specialist & die before they will help you…I know Socialist Healthcare but Americans can’t even imagine it…they don’t ask questions…they just think it will be free!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=846595292 Terry Chizum

    32 Gov’s. It is not going to fly w/o states cooperating and the fool in charge made a huge boo boo in not giving the Feds a strong arm to enforce. Go Virginia!

  • Bombpop

    they are writing their own attack ads.

  • swimkin

    It should make GOD part of the platform. Because in God ALL things are possible. With God on our side we couldn’t lose.

  • swimkin

    Actually that is EXACTLY what Obama is doing for the Powers that Be who control this country. All of this was done by design to make us equal with all the rest of the world. No more American exceptionalism. … no more American middle class. This is EXACTLY the plan… Look Up UN Agenda 21 … where we are to spread our wealth to other countries. This had nothing to do with the TeaParty and/or as I call it the Liberty movement.

  • http://www.facebook.com/isaac.lowery.3 Isaac Lowery

    Unjust people have polluted our govt and they are only trying to. make corruption a million times easier for a govt officials to get away with it all the while the tax payers foot the bill.

  • indyfan2

    I know what the Affordable Health Care Act is. I am aware of the stories told by actors about waiting in line. I also worked in Canada and Germany for seven years. I never waited for any care. It was virtually the same as what I experienced in the US. The real difference was that there was no pre-existing clause. There also was virtually no co-pay for any procedure I had. Drugs much cheaper also.

  • SOG1077

    Woo hoo! Fight the GOVERNMENT TEATERS, Those DemonCraps who are so helpless they need an Uncle Sam to wipe the shite off of their azzes. Weak, pathetic, suckling basterds.

  • Jazzee

    Oh please obama is taking us to third world status has nothing to do with the tea party they don’t have the power but he does
    have you read the healthcare law? Here is a funny one: YOU know all those free pills/abortions …well in the law a new president can stop that his/her choice…..LOL OH no those dumb women who voted for obama think he saved them but OOPsIE …..not true

  • Jazzee

    Right Grace FREE is what they think
    God help the USA

  • Jazzee

    Yes obama pretends he wants to save middle class but the dictator is trying his best to eliminate it….all in the plans..read history folks and see for yourself where we are headed with this corrupt jerk

  • indyfan2

    It is the tealiban that are driving us back to the 19th century. No labor laws, no child labor laws, no schools, no minimum wage, no environmental laws and women well, keep them bare foot and pregnant. No one ever promised free pills/abortions. It was reported by FAUX news that there would be but FAUX admitted in a Florida Court that they lie. OOPsIE.

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