Pennsylvania will let feds run health insurance exchange

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HARRISBURG -- Gov. Tom Corbett announced this afternoon that Pennsylvania will not run its own insurance exchange under the new federal health law.

In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Mr. Corbett said the state had not received answers to its questions about establishing a state-run marketplace for health insurance. Without more information, he said, he would not pursue a state-based exchange "at this time."

"It would be irresponsible to put Pennsylvanians on the hook for an unknown amount of money to operate a system under rules that have not been fully written," he said.

States can decide to establish an exchange in future years, the governor's office said. Pennsylvania is one of 28 states that have opted to let the federal government run its exchange, according to the administration.

Mr. Corbett said the state would continue to seek guidance from the Department of Health and Human Services about the option to expand Medicaid eligibility under the federal law.

Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group that has lobbied against establishing a state-run exchange, released a statement minutes before the announcement with a headline welcoming "news that Corbett will reject exchange." Jennifer Stefano, the group's state director, praised the decision in a brief interview after the announcement.

"We are thrilled that Gov. Corbett made this strong stand and protected the working families of Pennsylvania," she said.

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Karen Langley: klangley@post-gazette.com or 717-787-2141.


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