Republican Governors Need More Time to Implement Health Care Law
Republican governors asked President Barack Obama for more time to decide on how they would handle a vital provision of the health care law. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal wrote a letter to the president. The letter stated that governors don’t have enough information to assess whether they should operate their own insurance exchanges or let the federal government do it for them.
The insurance exchanges are designed to allow Americans who don’t are not covered through work to purchase insurance from online marketplaces. The exchanges were scheduled to be operational by next fall and run by states. Consumers could start buying insurance starting in January 2014.
15 states, including Maryland, California, and Connecticut have already established an exchange. This is according to the nonpartisan group Kaiser Family Foundation. Several states, especially those led by Republican governors such as Louisiana and Virginia, said that they will not run an exchange and let the federal government run it for them. Governor Jindal said that he will not take federal money to expand Medicaid coverage for low-income resident in Louisiana.
It was estimated that a third of the states are going to reject the option to make an insurance exchange. It would force the federal government to step in and operate an exchange in those states. States have until Friday to tell the White House whether they want to operate their own exchanges or not.
Governors Jindal and McDonnell said that the time is not enough to make a decision because of the many regulations on how exchanges will operate have not yet been released by the federal government. McDonnell said that this lack of a complete and open rule making process as well as the absence of data being shared with states have created a roadblock for governors.