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Health Insurance Symposium Discusses Exchange Mandate

Some states have delayed setting up a state exchange system because they question the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.

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Photo: Jodi Marr (Flickr)

A symposium at the Indiana statehouse discussed the need for a state-run exchange program that has been mandated by the Affordable Care Act.

To exchange or not to exchange – that was the question organizers of the Indiana Health Insurance Exchange Symposium posed to panelists and attendees Tuesday.

A health insurance exchange is a marketplace intended to allow individuals and small business owners to shop for coverage and make better informed decisions. The federal health care law requires states set up an exchange by 2014 or be subject to a federally-run exchange. But uncertainty surrounding the law and its constitutionality has led many states to delay setting up the system.

House Insurance committee chair Matthew Lehman says whether the federal law is struck down or not, Indiana is right where it needs to be.

“I was not who was convinced that the current system was completely broken, but I’m open to a lot of ways that you can deliver a product and I think a lot of ways to make competition better,” he says.

But Indianapolis Representative Ed DeLaney says if there is no federal mandate, he thinks the legislature will pass on the issue.

“I would hope the legislature would go into this but I’m afraid it will not,” he says. “I think we’re just too comfortable with quibbling around the edges of this problem.”

If the federal health care law goes before the U.S. Supreme Court this session, a ruling likely will come by next June.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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