Today HCFANY leaders are releasing an open letter to Governor Cuomo, Senator Skelos and Speaker Silver urging them to quickly enact legislation establishing New York’s Health Insurance Exchange, as required under the federal Affordable Care Act passed in March of 2010.
Over 85 organizations signed the letter, which explains that New York stands to lose millions of dollars in federal grant money available to help states implement Exchanges if the state fails to pass implementation legislation this year. Only 16 legislative days remain before June 29th, the last day of session.
New York, usually a leader in health reforms, is falling behind – California, Vermont, Maryland, and West Virginia have enacted establishing legislation and other states including Washington, Colorado, and Hawaii are expected to do so shortly. In total, 7 states have passed exchange establishing legislation, 24 have legislation or an official process to adopt legislation pending, and New York joins the total of 13 states that have no legislation currently under consideration.
In addition to the potential loss of federal funds, delaying the implementation legislation means less time to tackle the complex health policy, insurance and financial issues that must be resolved before the Exchange becomes operational in the summer of 2013. HCFANY supports creating a public benefit corporation, protected by robust conflict of interest regulation and transparency rules and governed by a strong group of directors who represent the interests of the consumers on the exchange, to govern the Exchange.
Here are some links to press coverage of the event:
- “Advocates say NY needs health-exchange legislation ASAP,” Albany Watch
- “Advocates warn NY lagging behind in transition to health care reform “ WNYT
- NY needs insurance exchange bill ASAP, Crain’s health pulse
- Insurance Dept. plans health insurance public hearing, Rochester Business Journal