While House Republican leaders have stepped up their rhetoric about dismantling the new health care law, the GOP wave that extended to governor’s mansions and state legislatures will provide critics of the law ample opportunity to put their stamp on the measure at the state level.
Nearly all of the Republicans who won gubernatorial races campaigned against the health care law, and at least two new GOP governors, Sam Brownback of Kansas and Matt Mead of Wyoming, have said their states should join in legal challenges to overturn the insurance coverage mandate in the law.
If Republican governors drag their feet too much, specifically on insurance exchanges, the law permits the federal government to take over where states fall behind. But with the Health and Human Services Department already tasked with the huge role of writing regulations for each provision of the law, having to run exchanges and other programs for states with potentially hostile governments will add to the challenge.
The turnover among governors means there is also the potential of a shift in the makeup of insurance commissioners.
After passing medical loss ratio regulations that liberal groups heralded as tough on insurance companies and good for consumers, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners may find itself with a more conservative outlook come January. NAIC still has much to do with the health care law, most notably in determining what insurance exchanges should look like.
The association might be facing a new round of elections for its 2011 leadership if newly elected GOP governors in Iowa and Florida appoint new commissioners over NAIC President Susan Voss and President-elect Kevin McCarty. NAIC VP Kim Holland, Oklahoma’s current insurance commissioner, was ousted Tuesday in favor of GOP contender John Doak.
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"The Obama administration on Tuesday called on U.S. states to ban agreements prohibiting many workers from moving to their employers’ rivals, saying it would lead to a more competitive labor market and faster wage growth. The administration said so-called non-compete agreements interfere with worker mobility and states should consider barring companies from requiring low-wage workers and other employees who are not privy to trade secrets or other special circumstances to sign them."
House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz plans to spend "years, come January, probing the record of a President Hillary Clinton." Chaffetz told the Washington Post: “It’s a target-rich environment. Even before we get to Day One, we’ve got two years’ worth of material already lined up. She has four years of history at the State Department, and it ain’t good.”
Hillary Clinton's transition team has in place strict rules to limit the influence that lobbyists could have "in crafting the nominee’s policy agenda." The move makes it unlikely, at least for now, that Clinton would overturn Obama's executive order limiting the role that lobbyists play in government
Federal employees from 14 agencies have given nearly $2 million in campaign donations in the presidential race thus far, and 95 percent of the donations, totaling $1.9 million, have been to the Clinton campaign. Employees at the State Department, which Clinton lead for four years, has given 99 percent of its donations to the Democratic nominee.