News outlets report on both the progress and difficulties states are facing as they attempt to establish health exchanges and meet other health law requirements. Meanwhile, Vermont is hoping to move beyond the federal law as it tries to set up a single payer system.
The New York Times: California Tries To Guide The Way On Health Law
California -; home to seven million uninsured people, more than any other state -; is at the forefront of preparations for January 2014, when a controversial (health law) requirement that most Americans have medical coverage or pay a penalty takes effect. So far, only 13 states and the District of Columbia have told the Obama administration they intend to set up the insurance exchanges that are supposed to provide a marketplace for people to buy health plans. None are being watched as closely as California, whose singular challenges, from the size, diversity and geographic spread of its uninsured population to its vast budget problems, make it stand out (Goodnough, 9/14).
Reuters: U.S. State Officials In Stealth Mode On Health Exchanges
Mississippi insurance commissioner Mike Chaney is in a tight spot. By law, he is required to implement Democratic President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul. But as a Republican from deeply conservative Mississippi -- one of 26 states that sued Washington over Obama's Affordable Care Act -- Chaney is a target of critics who say he is betraying his party. Chaney and health officials in as many as 24 Republican-controlled states are working behind the scenes to set up insurance exchanges that provide a market for individuals and small businesses to shop for affordable health coverage (Yukhananov, 9/16).
Politico: Vermont Could Be First In Line For Single Payer
Most governors are, at best, slogging their way through the world of health reform implementation. Vermont's Gov. Peter Shumlin is hurtling through it. Vermont is the only state to have set itself on a path to a single-payer health care system, using the national health care law as a jumping-off point. Shumlin can't get there by 2014. He may not get there by 2017, when states get more flexibility under the health law to design their own health care systems. He may not get there at all. But he believes that even small states must aim big (Kenen, 9/17).