Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Health Insurance Exchange Update: Tuesday, July 24, 2012

North Dakota State Flag
As the days become weeks and weeks become months, states are either waiting or moving on with the exchanges and Medicaid expansion. But some are bringing up the fact that states should go on start on the exchange program and on the Medicaid expansion. Timothy Noah of The New Republic argues that Medicaid expansion provided in the health care law should be federalized. But the Supreme Court ruled that the government cannot make the state expand Medicaid. So more states are opting not to expand if they're not forced to. But Noah writes that the expansion will not put a dent so to speak in the debt of the states.

North Dakota is going back and forth between whether or not to set up the state-run exchanges. According to The Jamestown Sun, the GOP state officials are strongly opposed to setting up the exchanges. Last November, the House voted 64-30 against setting up the exchanges. The conservative leaders did not want to be in support of a law that they saw was going Gov. Jack Dalrymple stands firmly as he will not implement any portion of the health care reform law. Supporters of the law are echoing the same sentiment as every other supporter by saying that the state is better off creating their own plan instead of the federal government. The same goes for those who oppose the law. Brett Narloch said that since it a federal program, it should be run by the federal government. 

Wyoming is a state that has decided to follow the lead of the state attorney general of Virginia: do nothing. According to the Wyoming Business Report, they along with nine others have decided not to set up their own exchanges but it seems like Gov. Matt Mead has decided to see what the options are regarding the setting up of the exchanges and Medicaid. The state created forums for individuals who are concerned about the Medicaid expansion. In addition, Wyoming has begun looking into options for exchanges. Because Wyoming has a unique situation (large state, small population) and the governor wants to make sure he sets up the right exchange for his state. He even expressed this same sentiment in a letter to the Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Resources Kathleen Sebellius. 

Nebraska’s state insurance officials said that the state have begun efforts in implementing exchanges. But , according to CBS News, there are some who are questioning Gov. Dave Heineman can fulfill the requirements without calling a special session. Bruce Ramage, director of the Department of Insurance, has said that Nebraska is making strides to have their own exchange set up for the future. But Sen. Paul Schumacher wonders if the governor, who opposes the law, has the authority to use his executive order to have the implementations or whether they need legislation.

This November, the Health Insurance Exchange Congress will be held November 13-14, 2012 in Chicago, IL.  Here, state officials and health plans with the only opportunity to come together to discuss PPACA and strategize on how to make this a successful opportunity for all.  For more information on this year's agenda, download the program here.  As a reader of this blog, when you register to join us and mention code XP1710BLOG, you'll receive 15% off the standard rate

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