In a blog post on Wednesday, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius released letters from 12 governors who expressed their commitment to implementing the state-based health insurance exchanges under the federal health reform law, The Hill's "Healthwatch" reports.
The 12 letters released by HHS came from the governors of:
- New York,
- Rhode Island,
- Vermont, and
- Washington (Baker, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 7/11).
Also on Wednesday, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (D) said he sent a letter to Sebelius stating that he would sign an executive order to create an exchange.
Since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, "my administration has been contacted repeatedly by interest groups representing employers, health insurers, insurance agents, health care providers and health care advocates who all have expressed that the Commonwealth should run its own Exchange," Beshear wrote (Baker, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 7/12).
As of Wednesday, 16 states -- the 12 states listed in the HHS blog post, Kentucky, Nevada, Utah and West Virginia -- and the District of Columbia have established an exchange, enacted legislation that would create one or are on track to establish an exchange by executive orders, according to a tally by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Governors of six states -- Florida, Louisiana, Maine, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Texas -- have publicly announced that they will not create the exchanges, while the governors of New Jersey and New Mexico have vetoed legislation to establish exchanges (Los Angeles Times, 7/12).
In her blog post, Sebelius said she expects more governors will announce their commitments to create the exchanges before the Nov. 16 deadline to notify HHS about their plans to either set up their own exchange or have the federal government operate one for them (Adams, CQ HealthBeat, 7/11).