Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer says her decision to opt out of establishing a state-run health insurance exchange under Obamacare was one of the "most difficult decisions" she's made as governor.
But it the end, she concluded it would be too costly to state taxpayers and far too risky for the state over the long haul because of uncertainty about how much control the federal government would actually have over the program, which is designed to help people determine the best and most affordable coverage plan for their needs.
"After investigating this very, very thoroughly, this is one of the most difficult decisions I've had to make," the Republican told Fox News' Greta Van Susteren Thursday night.
"We know that the Affordable Care Act is going to be the law of the land, but the bottom line is that it's way too expensive, she added. "We're not going to know what's going to happen because the federal government will come in and rewrite rules. They won't fund it, so in 2015 in Arizona, it will cost my citizens between $27 million or $40 million a year to keep it operating.
"It's just -- it's too risky."
With Brewer's rejection of the exchange, there are now 17 states, most of them Republican-controlled, that have decided not to move forward with a key part of Obamacare — the creation of what amounts to an accessible online marketplace of hundreds of health insurance plans with varying levels of pricing and coverage.
The decisions to opt out turns the job of creating the state exchanges over to the Department of Health and Human Services, which could eventually place responsibility for running it back in state hands.
But Brewer made it clear that she wants no part of it — at least not on her watch.
"It's going to be a difficult thing to set up. It's just bad policy moving forward," said Brewer, who has been one of President Barack Obama's harshest critics on everything from healthcare to immigration and border security issues.
"If the feds want to do this, and the Affordable Care Act is going to be the law of the land, well, then, they can run it. They can take full responsibility for it."
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