|By Christine Vestal, Stateline.org|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
The Obama administration has a strong interest in convincing red states to establish their own, tailor-made insurance exchanges keyed to their particular needs. To that end, the
As soon as the federal health law was enacted, Democratic governors jumped at the opportunity to set up their own exchanges, which are expected to serve 30 million Americans. Their states have received millions in federal grants to create the online marketplaces and call centers where individuals and small businesses will be able to choose between competing insurance plans that meet federal coverage standards. Individuals also will be able to sign up for federal insurance premium tax credits and enroll in
One influential lawmaker, however, has an alternative. Republican Representative
A Proven Product?
One thing working in
Of the companies served by the exchange, 67 percent had no prior coverage for their employees, and 92 percent renewed their policies after the first year. The exchange is working with 789 insurance brokers across the state to expand the number of businesses it serves, according to the governor's office.
But the site has its critics. Unlike the one in
As a result, critics say, many small businesses that have visited the site find the policies too expensive and look elsewhere.
Since November, Herbert and the Obama administration have been swapping letters about whether
"I want the
The problem for
Conner says she and her staff are committed to dramatically expanding
Behind the scenes, officials in the governor's office say they're mystified by
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