Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Alabama Governor Bentley Refuses to Help State’s Citizens

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, November 16, 2012

Not only are you, Governor Bentley, an embarrassment to the state and nation, but as a physician, you discredit the healing arts & profession, and contribute to sickness, disease and ill health of the people of the great state of Alabama.

Feds allow more time on health insurance exchange decision, but Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says no thanks

By Kim Chandler | kchandler@al.com
on November 16, 2012 at 12:07 PM, updated November 16, 2012 at 5:35 PM

AL Gov Robert Bentley

Alabama Governor Dr. Robert Bentley, MD (R), adamantly refuses to help the state’s citizens by making a list of health insurance carriers, called an “exchange.” – (AP photo)

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — At the request of some GOP governors, the federal government is giving states another month to decide if they want to run a state-based health insurance exchange.

Gov. Robert Bentley is saying no thanks to the extra time, saying his decision stands to not set up a state exchange.

“The extension from HHS did not change the governor’s decision,” Bentley Press Secretary Jennifer Ardis said in an e-mail.

Bentley, as other GOP governors have done, announced Tuesday that he would not set up a state exchange under the Affordable Care Act.

Bentley made the announcement official in a two-sentence letter today to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

“This letter serves as official notification that Alabama will not be setting up a state-based health insurance exchange, nor do I intend to pursue a partnership exchange,” Bentley wrote.

Today had been the deadline for states to decide whether they want to set up and run their own state exchange, essentially a marketplace for people and businesses to shop for insurance with some people getting subsidies to offset their costs.

Sebelius sent a letter Thursday to Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia saying that deadline has been extended until Dec. 14.

The governors, on behalf of the Republican Governors Association, had requested more time to make a decision, according to the letter from Sebelius. Both Jindal and McDonnell have said they don’t plan to set up an exchange.

“We are confident Governors will have enough time to decide whether they want to establish an Exchange, work in partnership with the federal government or have a federally-facilitated exchange in their state,” Sebelius wrote.

Bentley also announced this week that he would not expand Medicaid in its current form. The exchanges and Medicaid expansion are two key portions of the Affordable Care Act.

Bentley cited cost concerns with both the exchanges and the Medicaid expansion.
“The reason we are not going to do either one of those is we just cannot afford it, not only in this state but in this nation,” Bentley said.

Bentley said he expected multiple governors to announce similar decisions to try to force Congress to make changes in the federal healthcare overhaul.
States have until Feb. 15 to decide if they want to run an exchange in partnership with the federal government. HHS has said that if states fail to progress they will set up a federally-facilitated exchange in the state.

However, the letter from Sebelius noted that states can change their mind and apply at any time to run an exchange in future years.

http://blog.al.com/spotnews//print.html?entry=/2012/11/feds_give_states_more_time_on.html

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