More Than 30 States Rebuke Obamacare Exchanges

Thursday, 14 Feb 2013 01:10 PM

By Lisa Barron

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There are less than two days to go before states have to decide whether they will go it alone or partner with the White House to set up Obamacare health insurance exchanges.

Half of the states have already decided to let the federal government build the new online insurance marketplace for them, while a handful will work with the Department of Health and Human Services and handle limited parts of the exchanges, according to Politico.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, announced on Wednesday that he would be pushing more people into a federally run exchange.

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Fewer than 20 state governments, most of them led by Democrats, have decided to establish their own exchanges.

Many of the Affordable Health Care Act’s most vocal critics are still vacillating, says the organization. Among them are Republican Govs. Chris Christie of New Jersey, who vetoed Democratic legislation to create an exchange, Florida’s Rick Scott, who led the legal battle in front of the Supreme Court, Virginia’s Bob McDonnell, and Utah’s Gary Herbert.

“Some people don’t like the idea of a partnership because the concern they have is one partner is superior to the other,” Herbert told Politico.

McDonnell said this week that he would take part in a federally facilitated exchange but retain state authority over its management.

“At the end of the day,” said Joel Ario of Manatt Health Solutions, Obama’s first exchange chief, “ I think the states want the markets to work. There has to be cooperation between the state and federal government, and that could be accomplished in a federal exchange.”

Either way, Friday’s deadline is fast approaching. Enrollment is set to begin on Oct 1, and coverage will kick in on Jan. 1, 2014.



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