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Obamacare Health Insurance Exchanges: Ohio Opts Out

Obamacare Health Insurance Exchanges: Ohio Opts Out

U.S. President Barack Obama gathers with his wife Michelle Obama (L) and daughters Sasha and Malia (R) during his election night victory rally in Chicago November 7, 2012. | (Photo: Reuters/Jason Reed)

An Obamacare health insurance exchange will not be run by Ohio and will left as a task for the federal government, according to Ohio Gov. Kasich, who informed the U.S. Department of Health on Friday.

According to the governor, Ohio will also look to retain regulatory control over health insurance plans available through a separate federally-operated exchange. The state will also retain authority over eligibility requirements for Medicaid.

The Ohio administration has said that it plans to submit further details to the federal government in advance of the Feb. 14 HHS deadline.

Rob Nichols, Gov. Kasich's Press Secretary, has said to CGE on Friday that Ohio would have no flexibility to shape an exchange to its needs, and that it made no fiscal sense to operate a health exchange under the Obamacare system.

Nichols said, "We're going to leave that to the federal government. Instead, Ohio will focus on continuing to make our health insurance market as stable and competitive as possible and make our Medicaid program as well-run as possible, which is why we're opting to retain maximum state control in those areas instead of beginning to turn over parts of them to the federal government."

Ohio Congressman and U.S. House Speaker John Boehner has said, "I'm proud of my governor, John Kasich, for taking a stand and resisting the federal takeover of health care in Ohio.

"By declining to implement a government-run 'exchange' and preserving Ohio's ability to regulate health insurance on its own, Governor Kasich is protecting Ohio families and small businesses from some of the steep costs and red tape created by ObamaCare."

He added, "The president's health care law is already raising costs, making it harder for small businesses to hire, and forcing employers to reduce worker hours. But with Democrats still in control of Washington, fighting it requires bold state leadership and aggressive oversight by the Republican-led House. While our goal is still full repeal, actions like the ones taken by Ohio and other states are critical in protecting the American people and our economy from the impact of this disastrous law."


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