State GOP officials quietly implementing Obamacare

While trying to avoid the wrath of the conservative base

Published September 18, 2012 10:29PM (EDT)

Republican state officials who opposed to the Affordable Care Act are now working behind the scenes to implement certain provisions of the law by  the November 16 deadline. If the state doesn't set up the insurance exchange part of the law by the given deadline, the federal government will do it instead. But hardline conservatives think they should just hold out  until Mitt Romney is potentially elected, when the ACA would presumably be repealed.

Anna Yukhananov of Reuters reports that Mike Chaney, the insurance commissioner for Mississippi, one of the 26 states that sued the federal government over the law, has been targeted for trying to implement it.

From Reuters:

"Chaney said he worked 'under the radar' to set up the exchange until July 12, when he attended a talk at the Mississippi Center for Public Policy, a think-tank and lobbying group. The speaker was Michael Cannon, health policy director of the libertarian Cato Institute, who described the damage posed by federal meddling into healthcare and urged the dozens of state lawmakers in attendance to refuse to set up Mississippi's exchange.

Pressure piled on Chaney, and a day later he released a statement to say that he would not implement an exchange until after the elections. Though he continues planning efforts, he has not signed any permanent contracts."

"If you'd ever been to a picnic, and found out you were the main course, that's what happened," Chaney said.

By Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at

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Affordable Care Act Barack Obama Health Care Health Care Reform Obamacare