News Home
Quick Bites
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
On AirNewsClassical
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Meaden & Moore

Northeast Ohio Medical University

For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )

Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us

Kasich rejects health-insurance exchanges
Ohio will leave it up to the feds; but proponents say there's still time

Jo Ingles
In The Region:

Ohio Governor John Kasich has made official what many in the state already suspected. He’s told the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that Ohio will not set up a health insurance exchange and will instead leave it to the federal government. Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports on how this news is being received by those who support and oppose the new federal health care system.

INGLES: reaction to Kasich's decision

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (4:02)

The news that the state will not set up its own health insurance exchange is good news for those who oppose the Affordable Care Act.

The Ohio Republican Party calls the move courageous.  Maurice Thompson with the 1851 Center, a group that staunchly opposes the federal health-care plan, says this means his group won’t have to sue the state.

“We’re very happy with the administration’s decision not to enter a state- based exchange because we were either going to have to file a lawsuit against the state if it entered one or against the federal government if they didn’t.”

Ohio Constitution vs. federal program
Thompson says his group will now put its effort into fighting the federal government.  Had Ohio set up an exchange, he says voters would have violated a state constitutional amendment that voters  passed last year.

“It would be triggering the mechanism that imposes the employer mandate which is forbidden under the Ohio Constitution,” Thomspon says.

He maintains that counters the argument that the federal policy pre-empts state policy. “The state of Ohio cannot use state resources to violate the state Constitution under any circumstances and under federal law, that’s exactly what they would be doing if they attempted to enact the state based exchange.

Thompson says the state-based exchange would have hurt Ohio businesses.

“They would have triggered the employer mandate and taxes where an Ohio employer who doesn’t sufficiently insure his employees as defined by Obamacare would be subject to tax penalties up to $3,000 per employee.  And that’s a tax on employing people and for Ohio, a state struggling with jobs, that’s just an impermissible burden on employment.”

There's still time
The group that’s been asking the state to set up its own exchange isn’t surprised by Kasich’s decision.  Col Owens co-chairs Ohio Consumers for Health Coverage says this decision does not tie Ohio’s hands in the future.

“The state can move to a state exchange and quite frankly I think they will.

His co-chair, Cathy Levine, agrees.  She actually thinks this might work out best for now.

“Given the lack of opportunity for consumer input at the state level and the administration’s resistance to the consumer protections, we are likely better off with a large federal role in Ohio’s exchange at this point.”

Levine says she thinks Ohio will come around on this issue.

“ There’s strong bipartisan support among stakeholders in Ohio for developing a state exchange with a public process.  I think this is the beginning and not the end as the implementation date nears or even passes.”

Levin says she’s not sure how significant the differences between a state and federal exchanges would be for most consumers, though the state can make improvements tailored to Ohioans

She notes the Kasich administration has been using its buying power with Medicaid to require managed-care plans to provide better outcomes at a lower price.  And  she’d like to see that kind of market power used in the exchange on behalf of consumers. 

Once lawmakers know what to expect in 2014, Levin says lawmakers will be more likely to set up their own exchange to give the state greater flexibility.


Listener Comments:

Which states will get on the exchange bandwagon in wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on PPACA?

Posted by: Jeremy Engdahl-Johnson (New York, NY) on November 18, 2012 6:11AM
Add Your Comment


E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook

Stories with Recent Comments

Bhutanese resettlement has had a big economic impact
Informative especially for nonmembers of North Hill. I appreciate the fact that you mention that the younger generation has an easier time than the elders but t...

Ottawa County Commissioner sworn in as new house member
Congratulations on your new appointment to the Ohio House. I'm certain you will do an outstanding job in your new role representing our district. When you have...

Holden Arboretum opens a new canopy walk and emergent tower
Visited the Holden Arboretum today to witness the incredible work you did constructing the tower and bridges.WOW! Very impressed. Knew the build had to be great...

Local club works to bring back the once-prevalent American elm
I would love to help! Where would I get some of the new Strain so I could plant them?

Four Geauga school districts consider consolidating on the Kent State campus
Berkshire was smart to merge with Ledgemont because it had shrinking enrollment and excess capacity at its high school. Now that Cardinal is dragging its feet ...

Ohio Rep. John Boccieri sworn into office and hopes to look for 'middle ground' with colleagues
Welcome back to the Statehouse, John. You are a terrific representative in the truest sense always representing the people's voice in teh district you serve. ...

Lawmakers call for indefinite freeze on Green Energy standards
It's a shame the Hudson Rep. Chooses to mimic the words of the extreme right senator on his way out to join ALEC when we know the Pope was just here because of...

Youngstown Schools file suit against the Ohio Department of Education to stop the implementation of an academic distress commission
Voters should ask WHY this plan was rushed into law under the cover of darkness. What clues point to the beneficiaries of this plan? Both Patrick O'Donnell of...

More join the battle against Ohio's current forfeiture laws
NOT TRUE IN OHIO! ! My cousin's 8 rental houses were siezed in the early 2000s. He was a decorated Cleveland Police officer and detective (now retired). His dis...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University