Louisiana rejects plans to build an exchange program
Louisiana has become the latest state to inform the Department of Health and Human Services that it will not run its own health insurance exchange. The state has been examining the viability of an exchange program for some time, but has been fundamentally opposed to the overarching Affordable Care Act. The state’s stance on the health care reform law has put it at odds with the federal government’s insistence that states build a working health insurance exchange.
Governor Jindal notifies federal agency on state’s stance concerning exchange
Governor Bobby Jindal sent a formal notification to the Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday, informing the agency that the state will not build its own exchange. Thus, Louisiana has forfeited the right to control the exchange that will be build in the state by the federal government. State officials claim that the state cannot meet the governments standards concerning a health insurance exchange due to a lack of guidance and unclear regulations. The Department of Health and Human Services notes that states are meant to establish their own regulations concerning exchange programs.
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Insurance Commissioner concerned over exchange built by federal government
Health insurance exchanges are meant to bring affordable health care coverage to those that are currently uninsured. These programs have received a great deal of support, even amongst states that are generally opposed to the federal health care reform law. Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon suggests that the decision for Louisiana to sidestep building its own exchange may have been a misstep. Donelon has expressed concerns that the federal government will build an exchange that is not suited to the Louisiana insurance market, thus establishing a system that is inefficient and a burden for consumers.
Louisiana and others still fight Affordable Care Act
Louisiana is one of the 26 states that rose up against the Affordable Care Act. These state’s successfully brought the law to the Supreme Court, but the law was upheld. A second term victory for President Obama ensured that the law would be in place and fully enacted in 2014. These states are now required to comply with the federal law, but can choose to opt out of certain provisions, such as the establishment of exchanges.