To bring New York into compliance with the Affordable Care Act, Governor Andrew Cuomo had to create the new exchange in his state through executive order. From the New York Times:
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, stepping into the national debate over President Obama’s health care law, used his executive power on Thursday to carry out one of its critical features in New York after the state’s Republican lawmakers blocked legislation to do so.
For nearly a year, Mr. Cuomo asked the Legislature to set up the exchange. But the Republican majority in the State Senate refused to consider the measure, arguing that approving the exchange would amount to condoning the law, the Affordable Care Act, which they deride as Obamacare.
This incident does highlight an often underreported issue regarding President Obama’s signature health care law, the implementation has turned into a real mess. Given the nearly united Republican opposition to the law relatively few state legislatures have taken all the steps necessary to have a fully functioning system set up by 2014. Even in a very blue state like New York, the legislature is not taking the steps it should.
This whole problem could have been avoided if Democrats had gone with a national exchange like in the original House bill; but instead, Democrats foolishly insisted on going with the Senate’s idiotic approach of using a state-based exchange. It is likely that several states will not be ready to implement the law in 2014 forcing the federal government to step in to try to fill the voids.
A word of advice to future politicians. If you actually want your signature initiative to succeed don’t make people who hate the initiative and want it to fail responsible for making sure it is successfully implemented. That is political and policy malpractice.