Groups Sound Off On Exchanges As Governors Wrestle With HHS Over Control
The issue of shaping health insurance exchanges is raising controversy even as states worry they'll bear the brunt of the public's anger over the law.
The Washington Post: A Scramble To Shape The New Health Insurance Exchanges
From insurance companies to drugstores to doctors, just about every industry that touches the health care system has a different opinion on how the Obama administration should shape the new insurance markets at the heart of the health care reform law. But they all agree on one thing: Now is the time to weigh in (Kliff, 11/5).
CQ HealthBeat: States Seek More Control In Teaming With Federal Government To Open Exchanges
The National Governors Association sent a letter this week to federal officials chafing against restrictions on their powers in setting up partnerships with the Department of Health and Human Services to open health insurance exchanges. "Under the proposed partnership models, states would be required to cede many operations that have been traditionally handled at the state level, such as Medicaid eligibility," said the Nov. 2 letter from the NGA to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (Reichard, 11/4).
The Hill: States Worried They'll Bear The Brunt Of Anger Over Health Law's Shortcomings
State officials are pushing back hard against what they view as shortcomings in the health care reform law for fear they'll be barraged with complaints when people have trouble affording insurance. Federal regulators are writing the rules governing key aspects of the law, including the guidelines to determine who's eligible for subsidies to buy private insurance. Those benefits will be delivered through state-based exchanges, however, leaving state officials on the receiving end of angry phone calls if glitches in the law aren't ironed out by 2014 (Pecquet, 11/6).
Politico Pro: Exchange Week: Eyes On North Dakota
A special legislative committee is scheduled to hold a hearing Monday on legislation to set up North Dakota’s exchange. The state already approved a bill authorizing an exchange earlier this year, but there are two live bills hashing out the details during this week’s special session. It’s uncertain how much push-back the bills will get from the GOP. House Majority Leader Al Carlson, a Republican, caused us to scratch our heads a bit last week when he warned North Dakota would be “the first state to jump into the exchanges” as he cautioned against moving too quickly on the new bills (Millman, 11/7).
The Associated Press/Chicago Sun Times: Key Week For Illinois Health Insurance Exchange Bill
Within two years, Illinois residents and small businesses are supposed to be able to visit a state Web site to comparison shop for health insurance. But fundamental disagreements in President Barack Obama’s home state over how to govern the Web site — called the Health Benefits Exchange and required by the nation’s health care overhaul — threaten efforts to get it up and running on time. Consumer advocates want a governing board free of insurance industry members; insurers want a voice in overseeing what’s been described as a Travelocity for health insurance (Johnson, 11/6).