States must reject secrecy in health care spending

Complying with the new federal health care law will cost taxpayers in Ohio and West Virginia hundreds of millions of dollars during the next several years. We should not allow government officials to spend any of it secretly.

That is precisely what seems about to happen in California, however. There, a law has been enacted to set up a state insurance exchange, as required under Obamacare.

According to The Associated Press, the statute gives state government “broad authority to conceal spending on the contractors that will perform most of its functions, potentially shielding the public from seeing how hundreds of millions of dollars are spent.”

Our states also must have insurance exchanges. West Virginia wants to set one up in partnership with the federal government. Ohio may allow Washington to set up and operate its exchange.

In neither state should taxpayers tolerate the sort of secrecy being contemplated in California. That will lead to waste and, in all likelihood, outright fraud.

Here in our two states, new health care programs must be operated openly.

Taxpayers should demand it.