KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

State Legislatures Split On Forming Health Insurance Exchanges

Oregon and California are moving forward with creating health insurance exchanges called for in the health reform law while lawmakers in New Hampshire pass legislation barring the state from creating an exchange. 

Lund Report: Governor Kitzhaber Signs Health Exchange Bill
Governor John Kitzhaber lauded the bipartisan support by legislators in passing legislation to enact the health insurance exchange, declaring that the exchange will play a pivotal role in improving the quality and health of Oregonians, and, at the same reduce costs. He signed House Bill 4164 in front of consumer advocates, business and healthcare leaders at the Exchange Board meeting this afternoon (Lund-Muzikant, 3/8).

NHPR: House Votes Against State Run Health Insurance Exchange
A bill which prevents the state from creating its own exchange passed overwhelmingly in the house on Thursday. ... In New Hampshire, small businesses, health insurers and patient advocates support a state-run exchange. Democratic Representative Donna Schlachman of Exeter spoke in opposition of the bill (Gotbaum, 3/8).

California Healthline: Reforms Will Continue In California, Leaders Predict
The sky is not falling, according to Peter Lee, executive director of the California Health Benefit Exchange board. … No matter what decision is reached by the Supreme Court, the California exchange will continue its work, Lee said. California's other health care reform plans will continue and the exchange will still apply for a Level II implementation grant in June, as planned. "Any vision of the future that I can see includes the exchange," Lee said. "That's clear to me. And any vision of the future includes the work California has been doing on reform, to expand coverage to millions of Californians, starting in 2014” (Gorn, 3/8).

Also, California estimates that 32 million of its residents will be covered by health mandates passed by its legislature --

California Healthline: California Mandates 48 Specific Areas Of Coverage
An analysis released yesterday by the California Health Benefits Review Program shows that a large cross-section of Californians  -- about 32 million people -- will be covered by health care mandates passed by the Legislature. There are now 48 of those mandates that either require coverage or require an offer of coverage, and another five mandates that deal with more general terms and conditions of coverage. … State-passed mandates could have a financial impact on the health plans that need to cover those conditions and also may affect the list of essential health benefits offered by the California health benefit exchange (Gorn, 3/9).

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