Session may be out for the summer, but Senate Republicans won’t get to sleep in for very much longer. Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said on Monday that the Senate is likely to return in the next few weeks for a special clean-up session to revisit, among other things, the New York Health Insurance Exchange bill.
The wounds are still fresh from last week when the end-of-session push to pass an Exchange bill found Senate Republicans unwilling to vote on the measure, on the grounds that they didn’t want to look like they were buying into “Obamacare.”
But, pretending it’s not there isn’t going to make this squeaky wheel go away. Right now, New York has the opportunity to create an Exchange that’s right for New Yorkers. But, if legislators can’t pass a bill in time to get federal certification by 2013, then the federal government will be forced to come in and do it for us. If this is a case, then we won’t be able to tailor it to New York – we will get a one-size-fits-all federal Exchange.
As if that’s not enough to keep you up at night, if New York can’t get a law passed then the State will miss out on over $100 million in federal funds to create an Exchange and provide a much-needed boost to our economy.
The Exchange bill passed easily in the Democratic-controlled State Assembly before the end of session, so it rests now in the hands of the Senate.
We’ll keep you posted!
Click here to read a related article from yesterday’s edition of the Albany Times Union.