Jan Brewer, governor of Arizona, has announced that the state will be rejecting the new federal mandate to start a state-based health insurance exchange under President Obama’s Health Care Reform. The Chicago Tribune reports that Brewer cites unanswered concerns about the exchanges and how it could raise costs for families and small businesses in Arizona. Arizona will be opting for the federally run exchange instead which is another option for all states.
These health insurance exchanges are designed to offer an online health insurance marketplace where consumers can easily shop and compare policies at federally subsidized rates. They are a very important part of President Obama’s health care reform plan. Health insurance exchanges are meeting opposition from multiple states, but as the President has been re-elected it doesn’t appear states will have much choice going forward.
States have until December 14th to notify the US Health and Human Services Department whether they will be setting up their own health insurance exchange or if they will go with the federally designed plan in their state. So far, 17 states have claimed they will be setting up their own exchanges and this does seem like they will have more control going this route. Nine states have opted to use the federal exchange will some are pushing for a hybrid of federal and state networks.
Brewer’s decision to not set up an exchange is a statement. When she announced her decision she reiterated that she opposes the Affordable Care Act and believes it should be repealed and replaced. She believes the fate of Arizona health insurance could be in jeopardy and she is not alone in this belief. This debate will probably never go away and opposition to health care reform may strengthen as 2014 approaches and it will fully be in place. The benefits of the exchanges could take years to be felt by consumers and many states do not have the patience for this. Hopefully the federally designed exchanges will meet some of the needs of the disgruntled governors.
Written by Sam Tabes
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Tags: affordable care act, arizona health insurance, health care in arizona, health care reform, health insurance exchanges