Illinois health insurance exchange is the basis for new political turmoil in its home state
The Affordable Care Act is here to stay in the U.S., secured by a second term victory from President Obama and upheld by the Supreme Court. Because the future of the health care reform law is not longer in question, states are beginning to take aggressive steps to ensure they comply with the federal law. Some of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act are more easily accomplished than others, however, and some states are finding it difficult to comply with the entirety of the law. Such is the case for the Illinois health insurance exchange, which is the basis for a legislative battle in its home state.
State works to comply with Affordable Care Act
Illinois has plans to build a health insurance exchange, but these plans are not entirely popular with the state’s Legislature. The state is required to build a health insurance exchange by the Affordable Care Act, and this exchange program must be fully operational by 2014. Illinois has until the end of this week to submit its plans concerning the Illinois health insurance exchange or risk losing control of the program to the federal government.
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Funding creates controversy in Legislature
Illinois is currently reviewing bids from companies interested in building the state’s exchange program, but these bids may be put off by the legislative battle that is brewing in the state. Lawmakers are concerned not only for the potential for the federal government to take control of the exchange effort, but also where the funding for the program will come from. Part of the funding for the Illinois health insurance exchange will come from the Department of Health and Human Services, the federal agency overseeing the establishment of exchanges throughout the country. Legislators are concerned that federal money will mean that the federal government has sway over the exchange.
Legislature has yet to decide on course of action
The Illinois Legislature could pass legislation concerning where the Illinois health insurance exchange receives its funding, but no such legislation has been drafted yet. Governor Pat Quinn is an advocate for a state-run exchange program and has been pushing for plans to be made for the program at a fast pace. If the state does not submit plans for its exchange by the end of this week, there is a chance that the federal government will take action on the matter.