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480448 tn?1426948538

PA Governet Makes Decision About Healthcare

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania will not set up its own health care exchange under the federal Affordable Care Act, at least not for now, Gov. Tom Corbett said Wednesday, putting the state on a course to join others led by Republicans that will let President Barack Obama’s administration run its exchange.


Setting up a state-based exchange would be irresponsible, Corbett said, as he faulted federal authorities for what he called inadequate answers to his questions about cost and other issues.


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


The Corbett administration also is rejecting the option of running the exchange as a partnership with the federal government, spokeswoman Christine Cronkright said. But she also noted the administration has the ability under the law to re-evaluate every year whether to get involved.


Corbett said 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.”


The exchanges are to be up and running Jan. 1, 2014.


Many Democratic lawmakers, insurers and hospitals wanted Corbett to set up a state-run system. As Pennsylvania’s attorney general in 2010, Corbett joined a federal lawsuit with officials from other states challenging the constitutionality of the landmark federal health care law that was ultimately upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.


Reaction broke down along partisan lines among Pennsylvania’s congressional members and in the state Legislature.


The state Republican Party thanked Corbett for rejecting the exchange. The Washington, D.C.-based group Americans for Prosperity, which was founded by billionaire energy executives Charles and David Koch, had urged Corbett along with other governors to reject it. The group even sent a news release 20 minutes before he released his decision publicly Wednesday, saying they expected Corbett to “bring Christmas early to Pennsylvania” by rejecting an exchange.


State Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery, said Corbett’s reasons for not participating appeared to be more thoughtful than some Republican governors who refused to participate strictly on partisan or ideological grounds. A better test of Corbett’s interest in helping the uninsured will come when he decides whether to pursue a federally funded expansion of Medicaid under the law, Leach said.


To that end, Corbett said he will continue to seek guidance from the federal Department of Health and Human Services “on the costs, impacts and flexibility involved in the different options for Medicaid expansion.”


Antoinette Kraus, of the Philadelphia-based health care advocacy coalition Pennsylvania Health Access Network, said the Corbett administration could have taken advantage of the opportunity to be innovative in crafting the health care exchange specific to Pennsylvania. But, she said, the most important thing is that people will get help finding coverage through the exchange.


“It’s doesn’t matter if it’s the state or the federal government running it at the end of the day,” Kraus said.


So far, 17 states and Washington, D.C., have said they will set up their own exchanges, while 20 other Republican-led states have opted to allow the federal government in. Another seven states have picked the partnership model, and the rest are trying to decide. States that want to run their own exchanges had until Friday to submit plans, and the deadline for partnership applications isn’t until February.


The new insurance exchanges will allow households and small businesses to buy a private health plan, and many will get help from the government to pay their premiums. Under the law, states that can’t or won’t set up exchanges will have theirs run by the federal government.


The partnership option allows states to handle consumer relations and oversight of health plans, while the federal government does the bulk of the work, including handling enrollment and figuring out how much taxpayer-funded help consumers may be entitled to.

  


http://www.observer-reporter.com/article/20121212/NEWS04/121219756


It's unfortunate...I think decisions have to be made like this, because there simply isn't enough info about how this is all going to work...we're entering some REAL unchartered territory here.  I would much rather our state be in control, but I think our Governor made the right choice, with the uncertainty.  It would be much less secure to do it the other way.  The good thing is, I guess states can change their minds after a year.  I think that's fair...let the states see what this is going to be all about, how it's going to work...iron out some of the wrinkles, then they can decide to move to a state run system.

Fingers crossed.  I have so much anxiety about the ACA.
10 Responses
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480448 tn?1426948538
*GovernoR*

Honest to God, the older I get, the more typos I make.  Grrr.
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1530342 tn?1405016490
No Surprise.... No Republican governor is going to to this....
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973741 tn?1342342773
Ha, you and me both NG with the spelling.

What happens if they don't do it?  Penalties galore?
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1530342 tn?1405016490
What happens if they don't do it?  Penalties galore?

The government puts it in place.....So ACA happens anyway:).....
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480448 tn?1426948538
No Surprise.... No Republican governor is going to to this.... .

See, I actually disagree there.  I think there's nothing more attractive for a repub governor than having the state being in control of their own HC system, but I think their hands are tied right at the moment...and I agree it would be careless to choose that option.  The ACA is in it's infant stages here... NO ONE, not even the President himself can anticipate how good, or bad this may go...what kinds of things will be good, what will be bad, what won't work, what needs revamped, etc.

The states aren't going to want that kind of control without seeing how this is going to go down.  I think this is the way to go...let the feds run it and guide it, at least initially until it gets off the ground...that way, any issue that comes up, they will have to deal with it.  If he had chosen the state-based exchange, who knows where we would end up?

The government puts it in place.....So ACA happens anyway:)..... .
That's what's laughable about this anyway.  Is it really a "choice"?  I honestly think the "decision" the governors have to make is just so the big boys can see who is supporting this, and who isn't...not that they don't already know.

This is one of my issues with the ACA...this set-up.  It's a very convoluted, confusing proposal on how to start the ball rolling.  Honestly, I think it was done just for appearances.  That way, no one can say it's a gov't "take over" of the HC system.
Helpful - 0
1530342 tn?1405016490
They are refusing to set up an exchange to help people buy health insurance....The health insurance exchanges are required under the Affordable Care Act. They give people without insurance an online market place to buy health insurance that suits them. People with low incomes and special needs will get subsidized insurance when the exchanges begin.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57465110-503544/states-opting-out-of-medicaid-expansion-could-leave-many-uninsured/

"Under the Affordable Care Act, states always had the choice to "opt out" of building an exchange. If they refuse to set up the health care marketplace, the Department of Health and Human Services will do it for them.

The Supreme Court-mandated option to "opt out" of the Medicaid expansion, could potentially leave millions Americans uninsured. Currently, Medicaid is a joint federal-state program that provides health care to certain poor Americans, such as children and the elderly. In 2014, President Obama's health care law would open up Medicaid to anyone with an income under 138 percent of the federal poverty line -- so long as their states have agreed to the new plan.

The expansion of Medicaid, according to the Congressional Budget Office, was expected to make available health care coverage to 16 million new people. That accounts for half of the 31 million expected to get coverage from the Affordable Care Act.

Originally, states were required to implement this expansion or risk losing all of the federal funding they receive for Medicaid -- an option no state could afford. The Supreme Court ruled last week that the federal government couldn't force this significant change to an already-existing program on the states.

Some health care experts said it was unthinkable that state leaders would really opt out, since the vast majority of the cost is covered by the federal government -- taxes their citizens will pay, regardless of whether the state opts in or out. For the first two years, the federal government pays for 100 percent of the expansion. Starting in 2017, the states start chipping in, but they will never contribute more than 10 percent of the cost.

"A governor would be walking away from millions, in some cases billions of federal dollars," Tim Jost, a consumer advocate and professor of health law at Washington and Lee University, told CBSNews.com.


http://www.healthcare.gov/law/index.html

This should answer most if not all of your questions..
Helpful - 0
973741 tn?1342342773
Since the ACE is making insurance affordable for low income and those with special needs---  are we doing away with medicaid then and these folks will have to buy their insurance through the exchanges like everyone else?
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Avatar universal
I think with the lack of cooperation on this matter it will speed us to single payor universal healthcare very quickly and as a result programs like medicaid and medicare will be obsolete. I see this as an obvious result.
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Avatar universal
I am totally astounded at the insight you have on this and other subjects. I personally enjoy the factual information you are able to come up with so quickily. :)
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1530342 tn?1405016490
Thanks T...I WILL let facts dictate my posts and answers;)
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