So Far, 23 States Agree to Build Insurance Exchanges

12 are undecided; feds will build them in the rest
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 17, 2012 9:55 AM CST
Maine Gov. Paul LePage: 'I'm not lifting a finger" to set up a health insurance exchange. Instead, the feds will do it.   (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

(Newser) – One huge tangible of President Obama's victory: With ObamaCare moving forward, states must decide in a month how they'll go about setting up health insurance exchanges where the uninsured can get coverage in 2014. The original deadline was yesterday (it got extended this week), and the AP takes stock of where things stand:

  • 23 states plus DC say they're on board with building exchanges; of those, 16 will do so on their own and seven will partner with the feds.
  • 15 states will do nothing to build the exchanges, meaning they are ceding total control to the federal government to do so. ("I'm not lifting a finger," Republican Maine Gov. Paul LePage told Bloomberg. “We’re not going to get involved. We’re going to let Mr. Obama do a federal exchange. It’s his bill.”
  • 12 states are undecided, including New Jersey, Arizona, and Florida.

Generally speaking, blue states are moving head with building the exchanges and red states are balking. But Politico notes that a "spirited back-and-forth" is taking place in the latter camp on which is the better option. Mississippi, for example, has decided to create its own exchange, begrudgingly: "I don't like it ... but it is the law," says the state's insurance commissioner. "If you default to the federal government, you forever give the keys to the state's health insurance market to the federal government."

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