New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is being heralded as brave for moving forward to set up a statewide health exchange by executive decree after legislation continued to flounder in the state legislature with Republican opposition.
The Executive Order allows for regional advisory committees of all stakeholder representatives to make recommendations on the establishment and operation of the Exchange and will be established in the state Department of Health.
The Department of Health, in conjunction with the Department of Financial Services and other state agencies, are all charged with taking the necessary steps to create and operate the Exchange under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
“The bottom line is that creating this health exchange will lower the cost of health insurance for small businesses, local governments, and individual New Yorkers across the state. The sky-high cost of insurance in New York is driving businesses out of the state and preventing lower income New Yorkers from being able to afford needed coverage,” Governor Cuomo said.
States across the nation have made varying steps or lurches toward an exchange. This step marks a unique attempt by a governor to seize control of the issue from the state legislature, where efforts can be stymied in very partisan debate. See our interactive map here: http://www.lifehealthpro.com/2012/03/30/state-based-exchange-status-map
Health Care Reform For All New York (HCFANY) exclaimed on its website, “He did it!!!” under a photograph of fireworks.
Vincent C. Ashton, President & Chief Executive Officer of HealthPass New York, which serves approximately 3,800 businesses and about 30,000 employees and dependents in the New York City metropolitan area, called the executive order “courageous,” and said he was “inspired by his leadership.”