Proposed legislation would prohibit the use of state funds for implementation of Obamacare

'State leaders should be working toward state-level solutions that bring quality, affordable health care to our working families here in this Washington,' says Schmick.

 

On the heels of a recent federal court ruling that found “Obamacare” to be unconstitutional, legislation was introduced today in the House of Representatives to prohibit the use of state funds in the planning for, or implementation of, federal health care reform.

“With the court's recent ruling, and with our state facing a $4.6 billion shortfall, it would be irresponsible for us to spend any more state dollars on implementing a federal law that may never go into effect,” said Rep. Joe Schmick, who sponsored the measure.  “Rather than losing time, effort and money by focusing on a federal law that looks more and more unconstitutional each day, state leaders should be working toward state-level solutions that bring quality, affordable health care to our working families here in this Washington.”

Schmick's proposal, House Bill 1804, includes an intent section that finds Obamacare requires:

“…massive new spending commitments at a time when the growing federal government debt threatens private sector economic growth.  Revenue to pay for the affordable care act is based on increased taxes and fees coupled with unrealistic assumptions regarding purported future cost-savings; Uncertainty surrounds the future of the affordable care act.  Several lawsuits have been filed by state attorneys general challenging the constitutionality of some provisions of the affordable care act.”

Schmick, R-Colfax, and ranking member on the House Health Care & Wellness Committee, said the court's ruling places Washington in a kind of “health care limbo land.”

“We can't keep going down the same road of assuming federal health care is on the near horizon and spending state resources to get there,” Schmick said.  “It very well may NOT be on the horizon.  And if the courts continue to strike down the law, and Obamacare is indeed illegal, where are we as a state then?  We have families and workers in serious need of affordable health care.  We need to do what we can now and implement state solutions to reduce costs and increase access.  Frankly, we need to get health care back into the hands of consumers.”

Schmick said the planning process for the federal health care law is hampering the state in several ways and preventing elected officials from prioritizing services, something he believes the public wants.

“Because the federal legislation prohibits states from dropping or restricting Medicaid coverage for groups covered on the date the bill was signed into law, our state is unable to prioritize for the most vulnerable,” Schmick said.  “We are forced to cover children up to three hundred percent of the federal poverty level, which is $66,000 for a family of four, or about $77,000 for a family with modest child care expenses.  At the same time, we're cutting vital services to the elderly and disabled.  The federal law is hindering our ability to set state priorities and protect those who truly need our help.”

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For more information, contact Brendon Wold, Senior Information Officer: (360) 786-7698.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov