Reform opponents target exchange funding in repeal efforts

Even though the health reform law was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court and is moving steadily along in terms of implementation, some staunch opponents are still working on repealing the health overhaul legislation.

But instead of lobbying Congress or suing through the court system to reach a full repeal of the law, opponents are taking steps to block the health insurance exchanges, which are key provisions to the whole law, from success, reported Bloomberg.

"If you're committed to making sure Obamacare doesn't go into effect, you have to focus on the expansion and on the exchanges," said Dan Holler, a spokesman for the Heritage Action for America, a conservative lobbying group. "Once you have people under a program, it's really hard to change that system no matter how badly it needs change."

In particular, Heritage Action and similar groups like FreedomWorks are working to persuade Congress to end exchange funding when the lawmakers debate whether to raise the debt ceiling later this year. Exchanges lacking adequate financial support will result in limited enrollments and higher costs, which could drive lawmakers to roll back all or part of the law in the future.

"If enough people don't get in to these exchanges, it's essentially going to be to be unfundable," Josh Withrow, legislative affairs manager for FreedomWorks, told Bloomberg.

Some of their efforts appear to be working. Congress rejected a request from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services for $1.5 billion to implement the exchanges, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

To learn more:
- read the Bloomberg article

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