Uncategorized

States: Wait-and-see on health exchange?

An NYT article today takes a look at the progress states are making to set up health benefit exchanges under the federal health law.  These exchanges are where people who don’t get their health insurance through their work and small businesses (and members of Congress) can compare private plans and buy health coverage.

In NC, the exchange law – basically written by the insurance industry – passed the NC House, but stalled in the NC Senate.  Will NC pass a consumer-friendly exchange law this year?  Like many states countervailing forces are in play.  More conservative Republicans may not want to join in implementing a key part of the federal health law but not doing so means the federal government will set up the basic NC exchange.  Insurers would like a state-run exchange but are struggling with their desire to design the exchange completely on their own terms or allow some basic consumer oversight.  Prospects in NC’s General Assembly are unclear, but we are in the same boat as other states:

Many states are waiting for a Supreme Court decision or even the November election results, to see whether central elements of the new law might be overturned or repealed. But that will be too late to start work. By Jan. 1, 2013, the Obama administration will decide whether each state is ready to run its own exchange or whether the federal government should do the job instead.

In another curious twist, insurance companies, which battled Mr. Obama over health care in 2009 and 2010, are now urging state officials to set up exchanges. They generally prefer state regulation, and they stand to gain because the United States Treasury will send subsidy payments directly to insurers on behalf of low- and moderate-income people who enroll in health plans offered through an exchange.

Check Also

Senator Richard Burr: Makes up his own facts about NC Medicaid in order to criticize it

North Carolina’s Senator Burr used to be a ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

Conference comes a day after new report lauds benefits of same-day registration The new line-up for [...]

North Carolina’s largest public school system may be warning of “enormous disruptions” without speed [...]

Carol Turner hadn’t lived in North Carolina long before last November’s election. A retired nurse, s [...]

Controversy over class-size requirements in early grades has emerged as the biggest issue facing Nor [...]

The wisdom of the plan by Senate leaders to cut taxes by $839 million was called into question this [...]

Several years of tax cuts have not fixed our economic problems, and more of the same won’t either In [...]

Progress on “second chance” agenda marks a rare positive development in state policy wars There are [...]

24 million---the number of people in the United States who would lose health care coverage by 2026 u [...]

Featured | Special Projects

Trump + North Carolina
In dozens of vitally important areas, policy decisions of the Trump administration are dramatically affecting and altering the lives of North Carolinians. This growing collection of stories summarizes and critiques many of the most important decisions and their impacts.
Read more


HB2 - The continuing controversy
Policy Watch’s comprehensive coverage of North Carolina’s sweeping anti-LGBT law.
Read more