Alabama health insurance exchange plans put to rest by Governor Bentley
Alabama will not build its own health insurance exchange, according to Governor Robert Bentley. The Governor released a short press release this week detailing his views on the exchange program and why the state will not build its own. The state is required to host a health insurance exchange per the Affordable Care Act. The state can, of course, opt out of building its own exchange, but the federal government will be responsible for building the Alabama health insurance exchange itself.
Governor considers exchange a tax burden
According to Governor Bentley, a health insurance exchange would present a major tax burden to Alabama consumers. The Governor suggests that the Alabama health insurance exchange will bring more than $50 million in additional costs to the state’s taxpayers. The Governor also believes that the Affordable Care Act does not provide consumers with any improvements to the country’s health care system.
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Alabama opposes health care reform
Alabama is one of the states that is staunchly opposed to the health care reform law. The state, as well as others, has taken a strong stance against the Affordable Care Act, but the law’s provisions are expected to be enacted in these states regardless of their position on the matter. In the case of the Alabama health insurance exchange, the federal government will ensure that an exchange program is built in the state. The federal government will also be responsible for regulating this exchange program. The state will not have any ability to govern the exchange program itself in any way.
State will not expand Medicaid program
Beyond the Alabama health insurance exchange, Governor Bentley noted that he would not seek to expand the state’s Medicaid program. This comes down to a matter of finances, as the Governor does not believe that the state can afford to expand the program. Even backed by federal grants, neither the Alabama insurance exchange nor the Medicaid program are considered worthwhile in terms of finances.