KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

State Progress Report On Health Exchanges: More May Be Happening Than Expected

Politico reports some states that have been reticent or even opposed to setting up their own exchanges, like Ohio and Virginia, may be more hands-on than expected. Various reports from the Associated Press and MinnPost chart action in other states.

Politico: States Wrestle With New Obamacare Exchanges
Wanted: States to work on Obamacare health insurance exchanges. OK to keep it sort of hush-hush. More than half the states have declared they want nothing to do with setting up or running those health insurance marketplaces opening in their states later this year. But a closer look shows that at least a few of these states, like Ohio and Virginia, may have a larger role than they're letting on (Millman, 3/10).

CQ HealthBeat: Officials Have Different Views On States' Use Of Bargaining Power
Two longtime supporters of the health care law presented different views at a briefing on Friday of how insurance exchanges should be run. Jay Angoff, the former director of the federal Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, said that states should be aggressive in standardizing benefits and negotiating rates with insurance carriers. He worried that the widespread use of brokers could drive up rates (Adams, 3/11).

The Associated Press: NM Health Insurance Exchange Proposal Advances
A proposal to create a state-operated health insurance exchange is heading to the Senate with bipartisan support, including from Republican Gov. Susana Martinez. Supporters said Saturday the latest proposal was a compromise that will allow New Mexico to meet a deadline for having an exchange ready to enroll uninsured New Mexicans in October and be fully operating by January (Massey, 3/10).

The Associated Press: Conn. Pushes Ahead With Health Care Exchange
As one of the states furthest along in preparing to enroll patients this fall in the new health insurance marketplace, Connecticut has discovered that being first comes with some challenges. The staff at Connecticut's quasi-public exchange, known as Access Health CT, has had to build both an agency and an online health insurance marketplace from the ground up, relying on directives and guidance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that can change or need to be clarified (Haigh, 3/11).

The Associated Press: Fight Over Health Insurance Exchange Not Over In Michigan
Gov. Rick Snyder's attempt for legislative approval of a new health insurance market in Michigan has been 1 ½-year odyssey — and it’s not over yet. The GOP-led Senate quickly got behind his state-run marketplace, or online exchange, in 2011 so the state could have more say in a key component of the federal health care law that will help people shop for required insurance. But House Republicans opposed to the law resisted throughout 2012, even after President Barack Obama’s re-election (Eggert, 3/11).

MinnPost: GOP Legislators Hope To Change Exchange Bill In Conference
Republican lawmakers continued pressuring Democrats on Friday to compromise with the GOP on the implementation of Minnesota’s health insurance exchange. The chambers of the DFL-controlled Legislature this week passed different versions of legislation to establish a state-based exchange along near party lines. Republicans have raised alarms about the Democrat-backed exchange since session began, and they say their concerns have largely been ignored (Nord, 3/8).

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