Tags: America's Forum | Healthcare Reform | california | lawsuit

State Sen. Gaines: Somebody in Calif. Had to Sue Over Obamacare

Friday, 07 Mar 2014 05:24 PM

By Lisa Barron

California State Sen. Ted Gaines, who is suing that state's Obamacare exchanges on behalf of consumers and taxpayers, says he believes someone has to fight on behalf of Californians who want to keep the coverage they had.

In December, the board of the exchanges required health insurers to cancel plans that did not comply with the requirements of the healthcare law even though they were allowed to keep them in place for another year.

"We filed lawsuits against Covered California, which is the implementation of the
Affordable Care Act in California. We feel that they took a unilateral decision to cancel 900,000 individuals' coverage. The second phase of this, of course, is the implementation of businesses and another up to 9 million individuals affected by that. It is not working. It's a mistake. There are other ways to look at reforms for healthcare and I don’t want big government telling us what we ought to be doing with our lives," he told Newsmax TV's John Bachman and J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum" Friday.

Story continues below video.

Gaines has represented California's 1st Senate District since winning a January 4, 2011, special election to replace the late Dave Cox and taking office two days later. Prior to his election to the Senate, Gaines was a state assemblyman, representing the 4th Assembly District.

Asked whether he expects to succeed in court, Gaines replied, "Well, we thought that the court might be an opportunity where given a good judge you can take a look at the Affordable Care Act and how it was written. If you take a look at the decision made by Covered California not to extend coverage for a year for individuals, we felt that they did not have the authority to do [that].

"The second element of this is the financial perspective. We don’t think that they have figured out how this is going to be funded. Covered California's projecting a $78 Million deficit in 2016. Tell us how we're going to make up that difference? Are you going to increase our taxes? Are you going to increase policy fees? Are you increasing premiums?

And people aren't signing up in the numbers that they anticipated. I think we had a better system before we even entered into the Affordable Care Act. We can look at some reforms, I'm open to that, but we don’t have to have a mandate. We don’t need big government creating another bureaucracy."

Instead, Gardner believes the private sector should play a role in healthcare reform. "If you want to make changes, let's take a look at making changes within the frame work of the private market. We know the private market is more efficient than government. I've been in elective office for 12 years, I've seen the waste, and it just isn't the right solution. The solution is working with the private sector and figuring out how to solve the challenge that lie ahead for healthcare," he said.

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