Republicans are asking whether officials in Vermont and the District of Columbia really have the authority to force some or all health insurance business onto the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) exchanges.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and other leaders of the House Oversight and Government Reform have sent a letter asking about local officials’ ability to shut down non-exchange markets to U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
The lawmakers also have sent similar letters asking about the matter to officials in Vermont and the District of Columbia.
D.C. officials are trying to get all individuals to buy coverage through its district-based exchange, and for all small groups to get their coverage through the exchange by 2015. Health insurance agents and brokers could still sell the coverage but would have to work with the exchange.
Vermont is trying to move its individual and small-group markets onto the Vermont exchange.
The D.C. proposal and the Vermont proposal are “inconsistent with principles of consumer choice and competition,” Issa and colleagues wrote in the letters.