|By Mark Sommerhauser, St. Cloud Times, Minn.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
There's one point on which fans and foes of the controversial act agree: Getting Minnesota's exchange functioning in a matter of months, as is required, will be a Herculean task.
"This is an incredibly tight timeline," said
The exchanges often are analogized as something like
Each state must have an exchange in place by
Before the November elections, it wasn't a sure thing which route
The Dayton administration has called for
Last month's election of DFL majorities in the state
But in the next few months, lawmakers and Dayton must fill in the many blanks of the exchange, including how it will be governed, how its considerable operating cost will be covered and what coverage options and other tools it will offer.
Jacobs says the discussion in
"Now there's going to be an even more heated debate about how to do the exchange," Jacobs says.
The time crunch will limit what the exchange can look like at the outset, Pollard said. The October deadline actually understates the urgency because some key elements of the exchange, such as its governing structure and financing mechanism, must be identified by the end of March.
To meet deadlines, Smith says the exchange should start out as a no-frills model. What Smith calls "add-ons" -- items that could add value to the exchange but aren't required, such as putting provider quality ratings on the exchange website to help guide coverage decisions -- should be postponed until later, she says.