Did Nikki Haley Roll Obama?

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Dec. 3 2010 9:41 AM

Did Nikki Haley Roll Obama?

Nobody can accuse incoming South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley of misunderstanding the media. She went into a fairly news-free event -- a meeting between the president and new governors -- and came out with a story of how she had her way with Obama.

Haley says she told Obama that South Carolina could not afford the health care mandate, and that it would cripple small businesses.

"I respectfully asked him to consider repealing the bill," she said, to which he clearly stated he would not. "I pushed him further and said if that's the case, because of states' rights, would you at least consider South Carolina opting out of the program?"

Obama told her he would consider letting South Carolina opt out, she said, if the state could find its own solution that included a state exchange, preventing companies from bumping people for preexisting conditions and allowing insurance pooling.

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Erick Erickson, an early backer of Haley, is thrilled . I'm wondering how people keep ignoring the fact that the health care bill allows states to get waivers that save them from the mandate as long as they expand health insurance access.

The Secretary shall approve the plan only if it meets criteriaconsistent with that of the America’s Healthy Future Act, includingthat it shall lower health care spending growth, improve the deliverysystem performance, provide affordable choices for all its citizens,expand protections against excessive out-of-pocket spending, providescoverage to the same number of uninsured and not increase the Federaldeficit.

Haley's amazing victory over Obama is the same one liberal John Kitzhaber of Oregon and Peter Shumlin of Vermont are going to score; in Shumlin's case, it's meant to lead to a single-payer system.

 

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

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