The Election is Over – State Responses to Obamacare

US MapHealth Care Managers are closely watching how key parts of the Affordable Care Act are being implemented.  Health insurance exchanges are one provision of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).  Now that the election is over and the President has been re-elected, there is a wide range of responses from the states on how they will implement health insurance exchanges.  States have the option to set up their own exchange unique to their state or be included in the federal plan that would not be state specific.

Mike Leavitt was a former Bush cabinet member and governor of Utah,  and was also chosen as head of Mitt Romney’s transition team.  Mr. Leavitt believes that states would be giving up opportunity and control if they choose to not set up State Insurance Exchanges.  Leavitt Partners believes it will be a ‘bureaucratic nightmare’ for states without their own exchanges.

Those states that do set up their own exchanges will have the opportunity to build a system that works for their unique circumstances.  States that choose to leave it to the federal government could give up regulatory authority over the health insurance companies operating in their state.

According to a piece by Jonathan Allen in Politico Pro, several Republican governors are choosing to give up state control and let the federal government take over.  Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Rick Perry of Texas, John Kasich of Ohio and Scott Walker of Wisconsin have decided to let the Health Insurance Exchanges for their states be the one set up and run by the federal government.Health Insurance

As over November 16, 20 states and the District of Columbia had declared their intention to at minimum partially implement and run their own insurance exchanges.  Another 11 states were undeclared and 19 are looking to the federal government to run theirs.

Other Republican governors including Rick Scott of Florida and Chris Christie of New Jersey are among the undecided and are weighing their options.  On the political side, it may look better to their voters to refuse Obamacare, but it could also hurt in a general election.

Are we observing leadership or a continuation of political maneuvering which will lead to frustration?  What do you think?

Jerry Lovrien has held positions of Chief Executive Officer at health and behavioral health facilities in Minnesota and Washington State. He served successfully as State Director/Commissioner of Health and Behavioral Health in Georgia, West Virginia and Minnesota. Jerry has taught high school through graduate courses and is currently an Instructor with Globe University.