Thursday, July 2, 2015

Corbett announces PA will not create state-based health exchange

Pennsylvania today joined 27 other states that have decided not to create state-based health exchanges under the federal Affordable Health Care Act.

Corbett announces PA will not create state-based health exchange


Pennsylvania today joined 19 other Republican-run states that decided not to create state-based health exchanges under the federal Affordable Health Care Act.

Gov. Corbett said the Obama administration did not until this week provide answers to questions about the "costs, impacts and flexibility" that he needed in order to inform his decision.

"Healthcare reform is too important to be achieved through haphazard planning. Pennsylvania taxpayers and businesses deserve more," Corbett said in a statement. "They deserve informed decision making and a strong plan that responsibly uses taxpayer dollars."

Corbett continued, "It would be irresponsible to put Pennsylvanians on the hook for an unknown amount of money to operate a system under rules that have not been fully written."

Corbett said the state-based exchanges can be re-evaluated each year but for now the decision Pennsylvania consumers will rely on the exchange created by the federal government.

Under the Affordable Care Act, all states will have exchanges in place beginning on Jan. 1 in order to prepare for open enrollment which begins in November. The exchanges will provide one-stop health insurance shopping for individual consumers and small businesses.

The exchanges will allow low-income individuals to determine if they will qualify for Medicaid coverage and allow middle-income people to purchase private insurance plans, for which they may receive federal assistance help to cover their premiums.

States have three options: to run their own exchange, run one in partnership with the federal government or rely on the feds to operate their exchange. Sixteen states plus the District of Columbia have set up their own exchanges while eight states have created state-federal partnerships.

Gov. Christie last week said New Jersey would not create its own exchange citing the same lack of answers to questions.

Corbett was scooped by the conservative group Americans for Prosperity which issued a press release praising the governor ahead of his announcement.




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Commonwealth Confidential gives you regularly updated coverage of the state legislature, the governor and the workings of the state bureaucracy. It is written by Angela Couloumbis in the Inquirer's Harrisburg bureau, based in the statehouse, and by the newspaper's far-flung campaign reporters.

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