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Health and Medicine

Ohio likely to miss health exchange deadline
But regardless of who sets-up the health exchange website, insurance companies will come to the party
This story is part of a special series.

Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
J.B. Silvers is professor of health finance at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. He's not worried that Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor does not intend to set-up a state run health exchange.
Courtesy of Jeff St.Clair
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All 50 states are facing a deadline this November.  Ten days after the presidential election, each state is required to submit plans for a web-based health care exchange under the 2010 Affordable Care Act. 

WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair looks at this part of the health care law in the first of an on-going series on the politics of health care.

JB Silvers and Ohio's health exchanges

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Around 16 states have committed to creating a state-run health care exchange, but most, including Ohio, will let the federal government create a health exchange.  Many are postponing the decision in the hopes a Romney presidency will make the November 16th deadline moot through a promised repeal of most of the health care law itself.

J.B. Silvers is a professor of Health Care Finance and interim dean of the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University.  He says despite some fears of socialized medicine, the health exchanges are a mechanism for providing private health insurance to primarily low-income people who are currently uninsured, i.e. about 14% of Ohioans.  The exchanges also include small business health options.  Employers with over 50 employees will be penalized around $2000 for each employee that enters an exchange, but there is no enforcement mechanism for those fines. 

Silvers says it shouldn't make a difference whether the state sets-up a customized exchange, or if Ohio, like most states, will adopt a federal model.  There is a legal question Silvers says could complicate subsidies for low income applicants through a federal exchange versus a state-run system.  He says the IRS has ruled on this issue, but questions still remain.  

The health care exchange is basically a website where private insurance companies offer policies to individuals through four tiers established by the Affordable Care Act.  Silvers likens it to the ratings system currently used to rate tires.  

Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor is commissioner of the Ohio Department of Insurance.  The website currently has a one paragraph explanation of Ohio's plans not to set-up an exchange.  The Kasich administration says it is still evaluating it's options regarding a health-care exchange.  

Listener Comments:

-- "Many are postponing the decision in the hopes a Romney presidency will cancel the November 16th deadline and repeal most of the health care law itself." - If Obama/this administration is allowed to continue our health "care" will not be the only government controlled personal decision a bureau of "officials" will decide.
Not only we we pay a non-affordable healthscare tax, the price of gas will continue to escalate, therefore nearly all purchases will continue to escalate - this administration will continue to commandeer America's wealth with their green agenda.
And this is just the beginning of utopia/we all suffer equally.

Posted by: Green's gone on September 15, 2012 9:09AM
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