State Leaders Wrangle Over Approaches To Health Insurance Marketplaces
Officials and business leaders in Wyoming, Kansas and Michigan are considering their next moves among the myriad options of how to approach federally or state-based health insurance marketplaces.
The Associated Press: Gov. Matt Mead Blames Feds For State Missing Health Care Law Deadline On Insurance Exchange
Gov. Matt Mead announced Thursday that Wyoming won't meet a pending deadline under the federal health care reform law to specify whether the state intends to establish a health insurance exchange -- an online marketplace that would offer the public one-stop shopping for health insurance. Mead told reporters at his regularly scheduled press conference that Wyoming can't decide the issue because he has yet to hear any response to a series of questions about the law he submitted to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in mid-July (Neary, 9/6).
The Associated Press: Insurance Commissioner Urges Health Care Law Plans
The state of Kansas needs to decide soon what services it will provide in a health insurance exchange required by the federal health care law, even if the future of the exchanges hinges on the outcome of the presidential election, Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger said. During a meeting Wednesday with health care officials, Praeger said she hoped to make recommendations on which "essential health benefits" should be included in Kansas' insurance exchange to Gov. Sam Brownback after public comments end next week (9/6).
Crains's Detroit Business: Mich. Small-Business Group Presses For State-Run Health Exchange
The Michigan Business and Professional Association is urging the state House to approve the use of a $9.8 million of federal funding grant to complete the planning of a state-run health insurance exchange, a key component of the health care reform law that goes into effect January 2014. "We believe the (House) can approve funding to plan a state-run exchange without supporting ObamaCare," said Jennifer Kluge, president and CEO of the business association and its sister organization the Michigan Food and Beverage Association (Greene, 9/6).
In the meantime, Illinois will soon decide what "essential health benefits" should be included in insurance plans sold in marketplaces --
The Associated Press: Illinois To Decide On Essential Health Benefits
Gov. Pat Quinn has less than a month to choose which benefits will be required in basic health insurance plans sold to individuals and small businesses in Illinois under the federal health care law, an important decision that will determine he cost of future premiums and how broad coverage will be for many patients. As the presidential election focuses on President Barack Obama's national health care overhaul, Illinois has been inching toward implementing the law. Although the governor hasn't been able to push through some needed legislation, he doesn't need the Legislature to OK his choice of a benchmark to assure that Illinoisans receive "essential health benefits." (Johnson, 9/6).
And Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown pushes forward on implementing the health law there --
Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Where In The World Is Jerry Brown
California's Jerry Brown, the governor of the most populous state in the union, a state that has aggressively pushed ahead with the Affordable Care Act even when it wasn't the "in-thing," is sitting out this year's Democratic National Convention. Like millions of American kids who returned to school this week, Brown has too much work to do, his office told the Sacramento Bee. He has some 800 bills that he must sign or veto by September 30, and Brown has warned state lawmakers that he plans to call a special legislative session on health care to ensure the approval of bills needed to keep up the state's break-neck pace implementing the health law (Varney, 9/6).