With Governor Dayton’s move to prod the development of an insurance exchange in Minnesota, it’s worth noting that a leading conservative proponent of exchanges has flipped.

Edmund Haislmaier, of The Heritage Foundation, was an early proponent in conservative circles of the idea of insurance “exchanges.” But in light of recent developments at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services–the overseer of “ObamaCare”–Haislmaier advocates extreme caution, to the point of rejecting federal grants meant to help states design an exchange that complies with ObamaCare.

“The combined effect of these regulations and grant requirements are that a state would have to agree to surrender any last vestiges of meaningful control over how Obamacare is implemented. Thus, a state would now have no more real control over an exchange it set up than over one HHS established.”

Haislmaier had said that states should pursue exchanges as a way to gain some control for themselves in the age of ObamaCare. Now, he tells them to reject federal money, but offers that perhaps they may pursue an exchange without federal money. The hope is that doing so well do some good, and avoid federal strings.

But Michael F. Cannon, of the Cato Institute, argues that even that approach won’t work. He concludes, “Creating any type of Exchange merely lends manpower to ObamaCare’s federal takeover of health care.  States should refuse.”