© 2024
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

NY Health Exchange Legislation Waits

By Dave Lucas


Albany, NY – Some of the seven states that received $241 million dollarsworth of federal "Early Innovators" grants have yet to move forward on key aspects of implementing their health insurance exchanges and have not yet passed legislation to set up online insurance marketplaces. They have the option of establishing their own or using a federal exchange. New York plans to create its own - but lawmakers have yet to pass health exchange legislation, and, as we hear in this report from Capital District Bureau Chief Dave Lucas, time is running out ...

With the legislative session set to end on June 20th, New York risks falling behind other states and jeopardizing its chances to apply for up to $100 million in federal grants. Unless legislation is passed, New York will fail to meet the June 30th deadline to apply for those grants.

Two proposals for creating a health insurance exchange to comply with the federal Affordable Care Act are being floated in New York - one drafted by Senate Leaders, the other by Governor Andrew Cuomo's office.

Although the exchanges don't have to be in place until January 1, 2014, there is a lot of planning involved in setting one up.

The two New York proposals are very different from one another. Elisabeth Benjamin, co-founder of Health Care For All New York, points out both bills are flawed, in that they are silent on the issue of "conflict of interest". Benjamin also applauds the Governor's bill for being pro-consumer - but Mark Dunlea, who co-chairs "single Payer New York", warns that the National Health Care Law does NOT ensure that everyone has access to quality health care.

Last month, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed legislation to create a single-payer system in that state. About 12 states have defeated bills that would have created health insurance exchanges; 13 states have not yet considered such bills, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.