John Micek has the Corbett statement. From the Democrats’ point of view, this is great news. This is likely the high water mark for Republican control of state government, and if they had decided to design the state insurance exchange regulations they could’ve done a lot of damage to the cause of universal health care. They could’ve really fragmented the insurance market, they could’ve passed a really stingy essential benefits package, they could’ve written really weak consumer protection rules, etc. Now Obama’s HHS is going to be in charge of all those details, and Pennsylvanians will have access to the sort of well-designed insurance exchange Obama and the Democrats intended. If state Democrats decide later that they want a crack at designing an even better exchange, they can always try to pass one a few years down the road when there aren’t so many Republicans:
Therefore, I have decided not to pursue a state-based health insurance exchange at this time. It would be irresponsible to put Pennsylvanians on the hook for an unknown amount of money to operate a system under rules that have not been fully written.
However, we will continue to seek guidance from HHS on the costs, impacts and flexibility involved in the different options for Medicaid expansion.
We must work together on solutions that provide greater access to high quality and more affordable health care coverage for Pennsylvanians.”
Pennsylvania is one of 28 states that has declared it will allow the federal government to operate its exchange. By law, the decision to establish a state-based exchange can be re-evaluated by states each year.