Gov: Ohio won't set up state health care exchange

Ohio won't set up its own health insurance exchange but is instead opting for a partnership with the federal government to run the new online market under President Barack Obama's health care law.
Associated Press
Nov 18, 2012

Republican Gov. John Kasich wrote in a letter Friday to the Obama administration that setting up a state-based exchange is too costly and states have little control over how to operate exchanges.

"Regardless of who runs an exchange, the end product is the same," he said.

Kasich's administration has indicated for months that Ohio was leaning toward a federally facilitated exchange. State officials have noted their continued misgivings about the health care law, including what they say has been a lack of information from the federal government.

Ohio had been among the 26 states that had challenged the law, which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld this summer. And the state's voters overwhelming snubbed the overhaul's mandated coverage in a largely symbolic referendum last year.

Kasich was adamant in his letter that Ohio would continue to regulate its health insurance market, oversee health plans and make decisions around Medicaid eligibility. He said the Ohio Department of Insurance would retain its oversight over the insurance industry, "as it has done very effectively for more than 60 years."

The administration said it would submit additional details on its plan to federal officials by mid-February.

Exchanges are online markets in which individual consumers and small businesses will shop for health insurance among competing private plans. They'll be open for business on Jan. 1, 2014, but open enrollment for exchange plans will begin even sooner, on Oct. 1, 2013.

The exchanges are supposed to demystify the process of buying health insurance, allowing consumers to make apples-to-apples comparisons. Consumers will also be able to find out whether they're eligible for new federal subsidies to help pay premiums or whether they qualify for expanded Medicaid.

A group of consumer advocates said it supported Kasich's move to ensure that the state continues to regulate the insurance market and make Medicaid determinations. But Cathy Levine, who co-chairs Ohio Consumers for Health Coverage, said the coalition was disappointed Kasich didn't take advantage of certain aspects of the law, such as the federal grant money available to help consumers navigate the new market.

The state asserts that it already has a consumer services division in its insurance department to answer questions and address Ohioans' problems.

Levine said she also agreed with Kasich that many Ohioans wouldn't see a substantial difference between a state-run or federally run exchange.

"I think consumers are probably better off at this point if the feds run the exchange," Levine said. "We don't know how Ohio would operate the state exchange."

Democratic state lawmakers unsuccessfully pushed bills in the GOP-controlled Ohio Legislature to try to set up a state-run exchange.

"It just seems to make sense that one would want something that's more localized and more tailored for the people of the state," State Rep. Nickie Antonio, D-Lakewood, one of the bill's sponsors.

Ohio has yet to decide on another key part of the law: whether to broaden its Medicaid coverage. About 2.2 million Ohioans are enrolled in the nearly $19 billion program, which serves the poor and disabled

People earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level qualify for Medicaid under the health care law, except in states that reject the expansion.

Kasich has indicated he's open to trying to compromise with federal officials on possibly lowering that threshold.

More than 1.5 million Ohio residents are uninsured, or about 14 percent.

The federal law is expected to provide coverage to more than 30 million people nationwide through the exchanges and expanded Medicaid programs.

 

Comments

deertracker

Waste of time. Either do it or it will be done for you. All you are doing is denying needed service to the public!

Contango

ObamaKare is unworkable. It's a poorly written piece of legislation and will collapse.

Both Simpson and Bowles said that ObamaKare must be slashed:

http://www.cnbc.com/id/49845816/...

The Big Dog's back

winnie, the people have spoken. Obamacare is the law of the land. Make it work.

SamAdams

Yes, the people have spoken. Our representatives just can't be bothered to listen. Just before Obamacare was rammed down our throats in a partisan Congressional vote, the public was BARELY against it. Now? Polls taken ON ELECTION DAY (you know, the day your idol Barack Obama won?) show that the majority opposing Obamacare has grown.

For all of the criticism you've levied against Kasich (some of it more than warranted), at least he's sided with the majority this time around! Here's hoping the state also refuses the Medicare/Medicaid expansions. The program is already in deep financial doodoo. Obamacare will make it worse, and by an order of magnitude.

deertracker

It's hopeless Dog, they just don't get it. He is one of the dumbest so called smart people on here. There is no fixing his type. Why waste your vote on a guy that had NO chance at all. Gary who? He says the joke is on me? Too much Kesslers I guess!

Contango

"Dumb"? At least I didn't lose money in the Mkt. bambie. LMAO!!!

The 18th Amend. was once the "law of the land" too.

Hey, slippin' in this legislative nightmare using a cheap trick like reconciliation is one thing, financing and makin' it work is sumpthin' else entirely.

Besides, after the "tax the rich" nonsense, they're comin' for you. Work hard, the oldsters, the poor and the sick need your money.

deertracker

I didn't lose money it was STOLEN pooh. Just because you can't admit does not make it any less true. Good luck repealing the ACA. They are coming for YOU not me and it's obvious you are Worried!

Contango

"STOLEN"? Really? Better get an atty. and sue who ever "stole" your investments.

Don't need to repeal ACA, it will eventually collapse on it's own. Just like the other social entitlement pyramid schemes of Soc. Sec., Medicare and Medicaid.

They are fiscally unsustainable.

shucks

@ CON
"Work hard, the oldsters, the poor and the sick need your money."

What kind of attitude is that?

Contango

@ 4shizzle:

Pure demographics.

Increasing taxes on just 2% of the population when the country is runnin' $1T annual deficits ain't gonna cut it.

verdict

YOU don't get it! Exit Polls show an overwhelming majority of Americans oppose key components of Obama's plans. They only thought he would be the lesser of two evils. He barely even WON the election. 51% hello?

He would have lost in a landlide if people were more educated as to the TRUE role the Left Wing paradigm and agenda have played in our socioeconomic failure.
Do I really need to go into detail? Make any response at all, other than complete surrender, and I WILL return with (a WALL of text outlining) the details : P

The Big Dog's back

Repubs were projecting mittens to win in a LANDSLIDE with 325 electoral votes. President Obama won with 332. Not only was it a LANDSLIDE it was a MANDATE for his policies.

Contango

@ brutus:

In 2011, 66% of Ohioans voted against ObamaKare. An overwhelming MANDATE.

http://www.redstate.com/nikitas3...

The Big Dog's back

That vote back then didn't mean anything, wasn't binding, so a bunch of people didn't vote. Just like you, irrelevant.

verdict

How can the electoral college be a mandate when any educated person, who knows how to do simple math, knows that you can win 51% of the Electoral College with only about 22% of the popular vote?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7...

And Obama barely won over 50% of the popular vote. However, the country overwhelmingly chose, once again, to put even more Republicans in charge of things at the State level.
http://www.politico.com/news/sto...
Conclusion: They voted Obama as a lesser of two evils. Get a clue. The country is as divided as Congress.
You and Coasterfan and the rest of them even said it yourself! I have heard all of you claim, at one point or another, that Obama is the lesser of two evils. You called him an evil! Now you want to chant about some mandate!? Get real.

Randy_Marsh

I think i have this figured out. Big dog has a man crush on his messiah and actually wants a MAN-DATE with old Barry. Now i am for equal rights for everyone including the gay community but sorry big dog the rest of us do not like being bent over by the federal government.

coasterfan

I agree.. I read an article that mentioned that exit polls showed that a majority of voters were in favor of keeping the Health Care act in place. One thing Is sure: a clear majority of Americans remember that Republican policies and a Republican president caused the Recession in 2007 that we are still recovering from. Obama won in a landslide because people haven't forgotten that. He won every single one of the swing states, and also won both of Romney's home states and Ryan's home state. In short, Romney lost in the very places where people knew him, and lost because people WERE educated about what he and the Republicans stand for.

The GOP's problem isn't uneducated voters. Their problem is that Latinos, African-Americans, single women, and voters under age 29 find the party's platform to be appalling. From Akin, to Mourdock, to comments about self-deportation and the 47%, until millions voted Democrat because they WERE educated about what the Republican party truly stands for. This is a mandate on a national scale.

verdict

A national mandate, you say? With only 51% of the popular vote and far less than that who think he is ANYthing more than the lesser of two evils!?
Coasterfan. I am sorry to have to say this (I do since you may actually be influencing people out there) but you are a sociopath at this point. You are also a liar and a hypocrite! What is wrong with you, seriously?

You know the electoral college does not represent the popular vote. Mathematically, you can win the Presidency with less than 25% of the popular vote by way of the Electoral College.
There was NO landslide by ANY stretch of the imagination. He won about 51% of the vote and you know it!
Sociopath!

Exit polls show that a majority of Americans feel the government is overstepping its bounds. The percent (from exit polls) went from 43% to 53% between 2008 and 2012. And they STILL want Obamacare repealed. So you, or your article, are a..
Liar!

Are YOU NOW, much like you criticize Romney for, saying that the other 49% are not important? Uh, yes..yes, that is just what you did.
Hypocrite!

Zero credibility!

Oh, and if you want proof (that they only voted for him as a lesser of two evils)..ask yourself why the same Americans that voted Obama for President also voted, once again, to put Republicans in control of almost the entire country at the state level?
http://www.politico.com/news/sto...

OMG.LOL.WT_

A federal exchange will probably be better anyway

The Big Dog's back

Hopefully it will lead to single payer.

verdict

Hold.

44846GWP

Winnie and all the others who are complaining about Obama Care, what is your solution to the health care problem in this country? Clearly we could not continue the way it was before Obama Care. Second, Obama ran on reforming heath care in 2008, he won, and did it. Surprised he kept his promise? If you have a bright idea on how to improve health care, write to the President, and Congress. Run for office your self! But if all your going to do is p-ss and moan, then shut the -u-k up.

Randy_Marsh

CBO and JCT now estimate that the ACA, in comparison with prior law before the enactment of the ACA, will reduce the number of nonelderly people without health insurance coverage by 14 million in 2014 and by 29 million or 30 million in the latter part of the coming decade, leaving 30 million nonelderly residents uninsured by the end of the period (see Table 3, at the end of this report). Before the Supreme Court's decision, the latter number had been 27 million.
http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default...
Trillions spent to cover everyone, 30 million still uninsured by 2020. Awesome idea! Maybe if they would just burn the money they could get rid of it faster.

The Big Dog's back

rand, sounds like you are in favor of single payer. Good.

Randy_Marsh

At this point i would not expect the government to be able to buy a ham sandwich let alone a insurance plan.

mikel

thank you gov kasich. you are mandating right doggie!

The Big Dog's back

Actually he is exercising the choice Obama gave him.

mikel

mandate

The Big Dog's back

Yep, Mandating Obama's MANDATE!

wetsu

If the announcement the administration made explaining their position is accurate it appears that the governor has actually opted for the hybrid model or does not know what he is talking about. States selecting the federally-run approach do not have to submit a blueprint, so why is Ohio "providing details" prior to the February 15th deadline? Is it possible that Mr. Kasich is trying to cover his butt with the Tea Party and is actually talking out of both sides of his mouth? Perhaps, it remains to seen. Stayed tuned, the devil will be in the details.

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