US Approves Obamacare Exchanges in Four Republican-governed States

Thursday, 03 Jan 2013 04:35 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

U.S. officials on Thursday gave four states currently governed by Republicans the green light to set up their own health insurance exchanges under President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law, an initiative largely opposed by Republicans.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah joined a list totaling 17 states and the District of Columbia that have all won conditional approval to establish their own state exchanges, with operations set to begin on Jan. 1, 2014.

A fifth Republican-governed state, Mississippi, applied to operate a state exchange, but has not received approval because of a dispute about how much authority state officials should exercise over the operations of its prospective online marketplace, officials said.

The U.S. administration also cleared an exchange that Arkansas plans to run in partnership with the federal government. Delaware received approval for a similar partnership exchange late last year. Both Arkansas and Delaware have Democratic governors.

Health exchanges are a central provision of Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The marketplaces would extend health coverage to an estimated 16 million uninsured people by allowing them to purchase private insurance at prices subsidized by federal tax credits.

In a conference call with reporters, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius welcomed the advent of exchanges as "a brand new day" for U.S. healthcare that would "drive down costs" for consumers through competition.

But the plan is opposed by many Republicans, including Republican state governors, who view the healthcare law as a costly and unnecessary expansion of government bureaucracy.

The federal government is likely to end up operating exchanges in at least 32 states that have not applied to run their own. States have the choice of rejecting the exchange provision outright, or following Delaware and Arkansas by participating in federal partnership exchanges that would allow them to manage insurance plans and aid consumers.

The deadline for states to declare their intentions to run federal partnership exchanges is Feb. 15.

Oklahoma, which rejected Obama's healthcare reforms, is asking a U.S. judge to prevent the administration from using tax credits to subsidize insurance sold in any federal exchange operating within its borders.

U.S. officials could not predict how long it might take to clarify Mississippi's status. But they said states that are unable to begin open enrollment by October can apply in November to run their own marketplaces in 2015.

"We will continue to work with (Mississippi) state officials as they determine how best to resolve these issues," Gary Cohen, the U.S. official leading the administration's exchange implementation effort, told reporters. (Reporting by David Morgan. Editing by Andre Grenon)

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

West Point Report: Islamic State Threat 4 Years in the Making

Thursday, 28 Aug 2014 07:11 AM

The Islamic State, which has grabbed strategic territory in Iraq and Syria, gained momentum over four years, according t . . .

Mitch McConnell Lays Out Plan to Roll Back Obama's Agenda

Thursday, 28 Aug 2014 06:51 AM

A Republican-controlled Congress would use the power of the purse to overturnPresident Barack Obama's policies, Senate M . . .

Karl Rove: Countdown to Kicking Out Harry Reid

Thursday, 28 Aug 2014 06:35 AM

Republicans are poised to recapture the U.S. Senate and must use the coming 10 weeks after Labor Day to let voters know  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved