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· June 5, 2011

Innovation Ohio applauds Kasich administration’s investment in health exchanges

While Republican Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has signed on to the national lawsuit to repeal the health reform law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Governor Kasich continues to move forward with the creation of one of the main components of the ACA, the health insurance exchange. Kasich joins the ranks of other Republican governors, many of whom were featured in the May 30 Politico article Republican governors move ahead on health exchanges, who are moving forward with the implementation of health exchanges in their states. These heath exchanges will provide an online insurance marketplace to make buying health insurance more affordable, more competitive and easier to navigate. In a series of public appearances, top Kasich administration officials continue to signal that they will move forward with the creation of a Health Insurance Exchange system in Ohio. In a presentation used by Greg Moody, Director of the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation, he states that health insurance exchange planning is an “immediate policy priority.” Furthermore in this PowerPoint presentation from February, Moody notes that in the next six months they plan to “initiate and guide insurance market exchange planning.” ODI’s senate budget testimony further demonstrates Kasich’s commitment to move forward with health insurance exchange planning. On May 16th, Assistant Director and Chief Administrative officer, Jillian Froment gave the following statement about the Health Exchange planning grant on behalf of Lt. Governor and Director of Insurance Mary Taylor:
Health Exchange Planning Fund (designated Fund 3EW0) The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded the Department $1 million to evaluate and plan for a health exchange in Ohio. We will be gathering data through IT and actuarial modeling to determine the advantages, disadvantages and impacts of implementing and operating a health insurance exchange. We anticipate future funding opportunities to be made available throughout the next biennium, as well, to continue these functions.
Recently, Carrie Haughawout, assistant director for health policy for the Ohio Department of Insurance, spoke at the first of three health care reform forums at Cleveland State University. According to a recent Plain Dealer story, Haughawout invited Ohioans to make suggestions on the format of the exchange stating “[w]e certainly don’t have all the answers.” We applaud Governor Kasich for investing in Ohio’s future through his commitment to move forward with Ohio’s health insurance exchange.

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