Governor Kasich has told the federal government Ohio will not set up its own health insurance exchange and will instead leave that to the feds. That decision is being praised by Maurice Thompson with the conservative 1851 Center.
"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," says Thompson.
Thompson says the state would have been violating its own constitution if it had joined the state exchange that would eventually levied a tax on Ohio’s business owners. Cathy Levine with Ohio Consumers for Health Coverage has been asking the state to set up its own exchange for more than a year but she says she thinks the federal exchange might be 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." says Levine.
Levine says the state would have more flexibility to control price, quality and providers under its own exchange. But she says she thinks Ohio will eventually set up its own exchange once the dust settles and Ohioans know what to expect.