Polls Say Voters Don’t Want State Exchanges


People are smarter than the government thinks; at least more than the Obama administration gives them credit for. How else to explain the results of recent polls?

The Supreme Court is soon to decide the King v. Burwell lawsuit that will determine if states must establish their own exchanges for their residents to receive subsidies to purchase health insurance. Although the clearly worded statute says subsidies can only be awarded on “exchanges established by the state,” the Obama administration decided that even those states that refused to set up an exchange should get the subsidies.

The debate is on now in anticipation of the Supreme Court deciding in favor of the plaintiffs. Proponents of ObamaCare want Congress to respond by forcing states to establish their own exchanges; or by changing the wording of the statute to codify the Obama administration’s interpretation of the law.

But what do the people want? That question, and many others, was put to a poll conducted by the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) in those states with only the federal exchange. The poll provides valuable insight to Congress on how they should respond to a Supreme Court decision in favor of King.

Jonathan Ingram, Nic Horton, and Josh Archambault of FGA revealed the results of the poll in Forbes. They summarize their findings:

“In short, voters don’t want their state legislators to rescue ObamaCare should the Supreme Court rule that health insurance subsidies cannot flow through Healthcare.Gov. They blame Congress for a poorly written law and don’t want or expect states to clean up Washington’s mess. In fact, they’re prepared to vote against state lawmakers who try to set up ObamaCare exchanges.”


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Voters know that the Congress responsible for this law was controlled by the Democrats and not a single Republican voted for ObamaCare. The 2014 mid-term elections demonstrated their dissatisfaction.

The Obama administration wants to put pressure on the states to establish their own exchanges. But the voters have a different opinion. They want Congress to write a better law. By an overwhelming majority of 63 percent, poll respondents called upon Congress to make changes to the law rather than make states establish their own exchanges.

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Voters feel so strongly about this that they would even vote against state legislators who try to set up state exchanges. Half of all voters and more than three-quarters of all Republicans say they are less likely to vote for state legislators who vote to establish state ObamaCare exchanges. This should be a warning to all state legislators; ignore this poll at your own peril!

The authors say voters understand that establishing state exchanges puts states on the hook for the costs of administering the exchange. They also recognize that employers and individuals will be at the mercy of the IRS as it enforces more ObamaCare mandates.


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Reasons for Opposition to State Exchanges

Voters give the following reasons for their objections to state exchanges:

  • High operating costs – States would be responsible
  • Employer Mandate – More employers would be affected
  • State Exchange Debacles – Bad experiences in other states are well-documented (Oregon, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, Hawaii)
  • More individuals subjected to ObamaCare mandates
  • More difficulty repealing ObamaCare


Lawmakers should beware. Voters are paying attention and will hold you accountable if you fail to fix this disastrous healthcare law.

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