Traditionally Republican states experiencing fissures regarding the health care reform.
The debates regarding the health insurance exchanges are making their way into the state capitals, and Republican controlled areas are finding cracks in their lines as new political movements begin to expand within them.
States are now making their choices regarding many central elements of the health care reform.
Primary among them is the decision as to whether or not they will be running their own health insurance marketplaces online, or whether they will be handing this responsibility over to the federal government, which will then create and operate the programs on their behalf. The deadline for making this decision is in mid-November, closely following the federal election.
This health insurance exchange decision has sparked conflicts between legislators and governors.
The battle within the states is particularly intense in those that are generally considered to be Republican strongholds. Massive examples of this issue are in Mississippi health insurance exchange process and Kansas, where the governors are at direct odds with the health insurance commissioners, despite the fact that they are all Republicans.
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Sandy Praeger, the insurance commissioner for Kansas, who has a solid reputation among state regulators after having been in office for a decade, is applauding the federal health insurance law changes and is supporting the 2010 federal healthcare reforms. She has maintained this position even as GOP moderates had been removed from the Legislature during the primaries in August for that same reason.
It is Praeger’s goal to have Kansas run its own health insurance exchange, and she intends to have it ready in time for the federal deadlines. However, the governor of Kansas, Sam Brownback, has been a long standing critic of the Affordable Care Act, and he intends to wait until after the election before declaring the course of the state.
Though a strong and well known Republican, she has stated that “My position is really more apolitical, just trying to be a good insurance regulator.” Praeger went on to say that “His is more of a political position, and I understand that.” Brownback’s office has declined to make a statement on the health insurance exchange subject at this time.