Pennsylvania has added its name to the growing list of states that will not establish their own health insurance exchanges under Obamacare.
Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s announcement Wednesday means the federal government will set up and run the state’s benefit marketplace, a key component of President Barack Obama's hearthcare reform efforts, reports the Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Like other Republican governors, Corbett said the Obama administration had failed to provide enough information about how the exchanges would be financed and operated. In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Corbett said there were still too many unknowns.
“It would be irresponsible to put Pennsylvanians on the hook for an unknown amount of money to operate a system under rules that have not been fully written,” Corbett wrote, making his state the 28th to reject the option of creating an online insurance exchange.
The letter marked a reversal for Corbett, who said last year that he wanted to establish a state-run exchange.
Conservative groups and Republican state lawmakers, who oppose Obamacare, applauded the governor's decision. They said the exchanges would only drive up insurance premium costs for state residents.
But Democrats, who expressed disappointment with Corbett, noted that the exchanges are designed to do just the opposite, which is provide people with more options when trying to choose affordable healthcare coverage.
"We had an opportunity to craft a health care exchange program here in Pennsylvania that would be specific and tailored to the needs of Pennsylvania residents, and we missed that opportunity," said Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa.
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