Must pick method to implement next step of Obamacare
Cliff Peale and Barry M. Horstman reports:
Ohio is trying to retain some control of a health care exchange mandated by the Affordable Care Act, even as it probably will default operations to the federal government.
Even with a federal-run exchange, state control could include certifying health plans that participate and determining Medicaid eligibility.
Meant to provide affordable policies to those without insurance, the exchanges are a key part of President Barack Obama’s health care reform law. They are one of the latest flashpoints in implementing the law.
States have until Friday to declare if they will operate their own health care exchange. They also can default to a federally run exchange or choose a hybrid model, with deadlines later in those cases.
Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, hasn’t announced a decision, but it appears unlikely that Ohio will operate the exchange itself.
Kentucky, with a Democratic governor, has moved aggressively toward its own state exchange, using about $66 million in federal grants to create and implement the marketplace. Indiana, with Republican leadership, is expected to default to the feds.
With Obama’s re-election Nov. 6, the law colloquially known as “Obamacare” will remain in place, but setting up the exchanges is among dozens of steps before it is fully implemented in 2014.
“We now know what the playing field is,” said Robyn Chatman, a primary care doctor and president of the Academy of Medicine of Cincinnati. “For those who don’t like it, at least they know what to expect.”
Decisions on how to implement the ACA will impact millions of Ohioans. (more…)