Georgia, Ohio and Wisconsin are now part of the coalition of states that don’t want to establish health insurance exchanges. Some other states said they would take the extra month given by the Obama administration to make decisions regarding the issue.
The exchanges are online markets where consumers can buy private insurance subsidized by the federal government. They are the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s health care law. White House has been urging states to set up exchanges. The federal government will create and run exchanges in states that are unwilling to set up one on their own.
President Obama and his health secretary Kathleen Sebelius have promised to give states flexibility in implementing the new health care law and running the insurance exchanges. Republican governors said that they were not given much flexibility at present.
Republican Governor John R. Kasich of Ohio said that his state will not run an Obamacare health exchange but will let the federal government to do so. He added that states don’t have any flexibility to build and manage exchanges that would respond to the needs of the people.
Republican Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin also opposed Obama’s health care law. He said that from a philosophical standpoint, he prefers state-run over federal but under the law, Wisconsin taxpayers don’t have much control over health care policies and services sold in the state. Wisconsin has been the national leader when it comes to regulation of insurance. It doesn’t matter whether the state is run by a Republican or Democratic governor.
According to Caroline F. Pearson, who tracks state developments at Avalere Health, around 18 states would choose to run their own insurance exchanges. 10 to 12 would run the exchanges with the federal government. 18 to 20 states would want federal exchanges.
Americans are supposed to be able to begin buying for insurance through exchanges in October 2013. By January 2014, Americans will be required to have health insurance under the health care law.