According to an article in USA Today, conservative organizations are speaking out in numbers against the creation of state health exchanges. These organizations are trying to prevent state legislators from planning their exchanges until a final word from the Supreme Court as to whether we are going through with health reform or not. As of 2014, all states will be required to have their own exchange, which is an integral piece of health reform law. Health insurance exchanges create an opportunity for each state to offer a variety of standardized health care options to its residents, while having the freedom to fine-tune the specifics as a whole state. This continues the effort to make insurance available to more uninsured individuals, and provide them with more options than public health plans.
Currently, ten states have decided to stop moving forward with creating their exchanges due to the conservative groups, according to the health task force director of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Every state is required to complete their exchange regulations by November. “The federal government is paying for the start-up exchanges, and the law gives the states the flexibility to run their own programs. The Department of Health and Human Services announced this month that 34 states have accepted grants to pay for exchanges. If states don’t create exchanges, their residents can participate in a federal program” (Kittrell, USA Today). As of January 1, 2014, exchanges should be available in every state.
Conservatives are arguing that each state won’t really have control over its health insurance plans, the federal government will. The law is constructed around the fact that each state will determine its own plans. There hasn’t been a new solution to health reform proposed by the Republican party, just the resolve to end the current legislation. These groups are using their last chances to bring down health reform, and boost morale among the GOP until there is word from Washington on whether or not “ObamaCare” will continue. The health reform bill is still being fought over in the Supreme Court for the next few weeks, so we should have a ruling soon enough.
1. USA Today, “Conservatives campaign against insurance exchanges”. http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/story/2012-05-29/health-insurance-exchanges/55267456/1