|By Trevor Brown, Wyoming Tribune-Eagle, Cheyenne|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Cowboy State officials said last week they plan to hold off on a health insurance exchange study until the
By suspending its study,
According to the
About 20 states have bills pending to implement exchanges. And the rest of the states, including
The federal health-care law requires all states to form a health insurance exchange by 2014. If a state does not set up its own exchange, the federal government will step in and create an exchange on its own.
Exchanges are marketplaces that allow small businesses or individuals to band together to form "pools" when buying coverage.
The committee, however, voted last week to recommend the state not apply for a federal grant extension, which essentially means their work will be on hold until the
If the court upholds the law, the steering committee could choose to seek new federal funding to continue its work.
She said a number of states are awaiting the
"For some, it can be a political move in not wanting to have anything to do with the health-care law, like
Landen acknowledged that the group's recommendation to suspend the study was at least partly politically motivated, since it is clear
"In the world we work in, there are some political realities," he said. "I think we did as we were instructed by the legislative branch, and we'll be ready to go (to continue the study if the law is upheld)."
Salazar said this short time period could be a problem for many states.
She said states that already have experience with exchanges, such as
"That timeline is problem for a lot of the states," she said.
Because of this, she said many states could look to partner with the federal government to create an exchange if the law is upheld.
Under this option, states would allow the federal government to manage part of the exchange, such as some of the administrative duties. The state could then eventually take over those responsibilities at a later date when more of the details can be settled.
In addition, new rules were recently announced that allows the federal government to "conditionally" certify a state if it has made progress to start exchange by
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