N.H. Gov. Wants To Partner With Feds On Health Exchanges
|By Garry Rayno, The New Hampshire Union Leader, Manchester|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
The state has until Friday to ask the federal Health and
The governor's legal counsel,
"Right now if we don't tell the federal government what we want control over, we will lose it," Hodder said. "We have lost a lot (of control) already."
Two of the three Republicans on the six-member committee voted not to approve the letter the governor intends to send to federal regulators by Friday.
"It was obvious to me that far too many questions remain unanswered, and I am uncomfortable putting
He was also concerned the federal government would run roughshod over state regulations under the partnership. "Knowing a little something about the federal government," said Bradley who served two terms in the
Under the draft letter approved by the committee, Hassan indicates the state wants to partner with the federal government both in plan management and consumer assistance, which would have federally hired "navigators" help consumers find the best health insurance plan for them in the exchange.
"A Partnership Exchange is essential to preserving
The governor notes in the draft letter of intent that the exchange will not "impose a cost on the state's general fund or create new state programs," and that federal grants would cover any state cost through 2014.
Hassan also notes the state understands it can terminate the partnership at any time.
The lone Republican on the oversight committee to vote to approve the draft letter, Rep.
"Hopefully this is something that will protect the state," he said before the vote.
Senate Republicans have argued for weeks Hassan needed the committee's approval to move forward with a partnership, but other legal opinions maintain she can act on her own, citing the law passed last year urging the state to retain as much regulatory authority as possible, particularly over insurance plans and carriers, and
State law forbids
Tuesday, Bradley continued to maintain the governor needs the consent of the oversight committee to proceed with a partnership. "In the weeks ahead, I will be working to ensure the proper procedures are established to ensure this issue can be considered by the full legislature," Bradley said.
As the memorandum of understanding between the state and the federal
Democratic leaders in the
"Leaving control of
"Without pursuing a partnership for our exchange,
The exchange would be set up and operated by the federal government under a partnership, but the insurance department would continue to regulate the insurance carriers and plans offered on the exchange according to
The state would also regulate the consumer helpers or navigators who will guide state residents through the process but are not supposed to recommend one policy over another.
The state does not intend to seek a partnership with the federal government for administering the reinsurance program under the exchange according to Hassan's draft letter.
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