Health insurance exchange news: Arizona looks to feds, Conn. and Colorado move ahead with state efforts

Published on November 30, 2012 at 4:16 AM · No Comments

Arizona's Gov. Jan Brewer has decided Arizona will not implement a key part of the health law.

Reuters: Arizona Declines To Set Up State-Based Health Insurance Exchange
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer said on Wednesday she was rejecting a major provision of President Barack Obama's health care reform law that calls for creating state-based health insurance markets where consumers can purchase private, federally subsidized coverage. Citing lingering questions about the plan and operating costs she said would be passed on to families and small businesses, Brewer, a Republican, said Arizona would join at least 16 other states in opting instead for a federally run health insurance exchange (Schwartz, 11/28).

Politico Pro: Arizona Nixes State-Run Exchange
"[T]hough I am a steady advocate of local control, I have come to the conclusion that the state of Arizona would wield little actual authority over its 'state' exchange," Brewer said in a statement. "The federal government would maintain oversight and control over virtually every aspect of our exchange, limiting our ability to meet the unique needs of Arizonans and the Arizona insurance market" (Millman, 11/28).

The Associated Press/MSN: Arizona's Governor Chooses Not To Form State-Run Health Care Exchange Under Federal Law
Her announcement preceded a Dec. 14 deadline for states to declare whether they'd run their own exchanges. A decision to create an exchange would have been subject to approval by the Republican-led state Legislature. ... a Brewer push to create a state-run exchange would have faced a fight from GOP lawmakers who oppose the law. An alliance of hospitals, insurance companies and business groups wanted Arizona to have a state-run exchange, arguing that it would increase coverage while giving the state flexibility (Davenport, 11/28).

The Hill: Arizona Governor Rejects State-Based Insurance Exchange
Republican governors are under pressure from conservatives to reject state-based exchanges. They hope pushing the task to HHS will strain federal resources, a potential avenue to chip away at the Affordable Care Act without repealing it outright. But that strategy comes with practical risks. It gives the federal government more control over states' healthcare marketplaces (Baker, 11/28).

Other states are already busy considering what the new exchange will look like and how it will pay for itself by 2015, a stipulation of the health law --

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