Last week, state officials notified the Obama administration Ohio will not set up its own health insurance exchange, leaving the job to the federal government.
Governor John Kasich’s press secretary Rob Nichols cited high costs, little adjustability in operating an exchange and not enough federal guidance as the reasons for its decision, according to The Columbus Dispatch.
“Ohio would have no flexibility to shape an exchange to our needs, and its costs will be so high that it just doesn’t make sense for the state to operate a health exchange under ‘Obamacare,'” Nichols said. “We’re going to leave it to the federal government.”
He told the paper Ohio officials will meanwhile focus on making health insurance markets within the state as stable and competitive as possible. State officials said they’d continue to regulate insurers that participate in the benefits exchange.
While some Ohio lawmakers are applauding Kasich’s decision, others are urging him to reconsider. According to The Columbus Dispatch, two house representatives said they’ve established a compromise with insurers, physicians, hospitals and other large actors for a state-run exchange. In a letter sent to Kasich, representatives John Carney and Nickie Antonio wrote a federally-run system will not benefit Ohio citizens. Rather, state officials and health experts, who know the state’s healthcare market, should be making the decisions.