Legislators will be discussing the impact of federal health care legislation and how to proceed with compliance.
Two committees will be discussing the law next week. The first is on Tuesday, when the Health Services Committee will discuss the impact on the ability to provide services to North Dakotans. On Wednesday, the interim Health Care Reform Review Committee will be discussing whether the state should develop a state health care exchange.
States are required to set up a health insurance exchange, which is a set of state-regulated and standardized health care plans. Through the exchange, people cam purchase health insurance eligible for federal subsidies.
States have until Nov. 16 to inform the federal government if they will create a state-run exchange. If a state chooses to do so. it would have to be created by Jan. 1 and be certified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
States would then have to have theirs operational by Jan. 1, 2014. States that don’t have an exchange in place by that time would be subject to having the federal government put an exchange in place for the individual state.
Rep. George Keiser, R-Bismarck, is the chairman of the interim Health Care Reform Review Committee. At a Republican Party luncheon in Bismarck recently, he discussed the the Legislature’s past efforts at having a state health care exchange. During last November’s special session, the Legislature rejected a bill that would have created a state-run exchange,
Keiser said if legislators were to consider an exchange, the deadline provides a difficult hurdle .
“I don’t (think) you can pull this off the shelf without a special session,” Keiser said.
He doesn’t see legislators as being very open to a special session to develop a state exchange.
The federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.was upheld last month by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Keiser also said now that the high court has upheld the law, he doesn’t see the federal Department of Health and Human Services as being open to providing extensions to states working to develop an exchange.
On Monday, several advocacy groups opposed to the law will be holding a press conference at the Capitol. The press conference, organized by the North Dakota Policy Council, is for to discuss concerns with having a state-run health care exchange.
Joining the North Dakota Policy Council at the meeting will be representatives with North Dakota Right to Life, the North Dakota Family Alliance, Liberty ND PAC and SayAnything Blog.
(Reach Nick Smith at 250-8255 or 223-8482 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.)