RGA Statement on New Health Insurance Exchange Regulations

Republican Governors Association Chairman Bob McDonnell issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Department of Health Human Services’ release of new regulations governing Health Insurance Exchanges:

“Once again, the Obama administration has overpromised, oversold and under-delivered, this time with regards to granting states the flexibility needed to establish and maintain health insurance exchanges.  The regulations issued today by the Department of Health and Human Services extend the federal government’s reach into the states and will cost the states millions of dollars annually to operate. This Administration’s inability to provide critical guidance to their broken healthcare reform mandate gives more and more credence to the necessity of the Supreme Court ruling this law unconstitutional.”

Shortcomings of the Regulations

  • No clarity on what benefit mandates will be imposed on states
  • No clarity on cost-sharing
  • No clarity on risk adjustment and reinsurance
  • No clarity on the federal health insurance exchange that would be forced upon states if they refuse to implement the law
  • No clarity regarding who will pay for a federal health insurance exchange
  • No clarity on “partnership exchanges”

Bottom Line

Rather than provide clarity, the rule opens new questions and is silent on the most crucial pieces of information for states. To date, HHS has not issued proposed rules in many of the areas listed above.