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50 Vetoes: How States Can Stop the Obama Health Care Law


Michael F. Cannon

About the Report

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) remains vulnerable to repeal, largely because Congress and the Supreme Court have granted each state the power to veto major provisions of the law before they take effect in 2014. The PPACA itself empowers states to block the employer mandate, to exempt many of their low- and middle-income taxpayers from the individual mandate, and to reduce federal deficit spending, simply by not establishing a health insurance "exchange." To date, 34 states have refused to create Exchanges and some 16 states have announced they would not expand their Medicaid programs. Yet the Obama administration is trying to coerce states into implementing parts of the expansion that the Court rendered optional. This special White Paper provides a comprehensive review of the process now occurring between states and the Obama Administration, underscoring how a critical mass of states exercising their vetoes over Exchanges and the Medicaid expansion can force Congress to reconsider, and hopefully repeal, the rest of the PPACA.

About the Author
Author/Editor Summary: 

Michael F. Cannon is the Cato Institute's director of health policy studies. Cannon is the co-editor of Replacing Obamacare: The Cato Institute on Health Care Reform and coauthor of Healthy Competition: What's Holding Back Health Care and How to Free It.