States Fights Health Insurance Exchanges Openly, but Not Behind Closed Doors
September 25, 2012
They may go kicking and screaming, but they’re going, said the states that said “no” to healthcare insurance exchanges (HIXs) that is. At least, some of them.
Even Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, who was violently opposed to healthcare reform, and her administration are quietly designing an insurance exchange. According to Abby Goodnough, officials in a handful of other Republican-led states say they are also working to have a framework ready by Nov. 16, the deadline for states to commit to running an exchange or leave it to the federal government to run it for them.
And oh, by the way, that’s only 10 days after the election, which could make some of this moot. Goodnough noted that “even the most tentative discussions about carrying it out in Republican states tend to take place behind closed doors or ‘underground,’ as the leader of a health care advocacy group in the South put it.
So far, 16 states have already established an exchange, 16 are studying their options, seven have decided not to implement an exchange (the federal government will do it for them), and the rest have no significant activity, according to a map produced by Kaiser Permanente. Some states are taking an unusual step – Oklahoma, suing over the words used in the law, and what they mean for the state, and Vermont, seriously considering single-payer health insurance.
And, who’s making out the best when it comes to HIXs? In a related story, companies which specialize in driving down spending on healthcare are turning out to be the biggest winners from the 2010 health care law, Kelly Kennedy reported.
She noted that “investors, analysts and policymakers say any business that can help healthcare providers cut costs or keep patients from being readmitted to the hospital soon after an in-patient visit is attracting more customers and seeing more investment.”
And healthcare information technology spending skyrocketed for the second quarter, hitting $293 million, up from $86 million for the same period last year, according to Mercom Capital Group, a market research group that looks at health care technology.
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Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli
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