North Dakota Insurance Commissioner: Why Not Give States The Choice To Opt Out Of Obamacare?


With Republicans set to have majorities in Congress next year (once we get through what is sure to be an interesting lame-duck session of the current Congress), the question of repealing Obamacare is on the table. Except, that’s not likely to happen. President Barack Obama is sure to veto any bill repealing his signature legislation, and while Republicans now have very strong majorities in both houses of Congress, they do not have veto-proof majorities.

Here in North Dakota, Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm is wondering if there might not be a different path that would allow some choice on Obamacare that might be more palatable to the President. He posted about it on Facebook:


That’s an interesting proposal.

Critics of Obamacare would no doubt prefer a full-on repeal, but Americans decided to re-elect Obama in 2012, so that’s not in the cards as long as the laws namesake is wielding the veto pen. But would Democrats in the Senate go along with this sort of a compromise that would allow at least some states to opt out of the law entirely? More importantly, would President Obama go along with it?

It’s worth a shot, I think. Republicans probably shouldn’t spend political capital on another full-on repeal effort, but the effort to put this proposal in front of Obama next year might just be worth it.

And it could lead to widescale repeal given that Republicans now control 70 percent of all state legislatures, and 62 percent of the governorships.

Of course, that potential for widescale state-based repeal is probably why Obama would veto this effort too. But at least it’s a fresh tactic.