The Locker Room

Delay, don't deal, on the ObamaCare exchange

Posted by Joseph Coletti at 11:45 AM

Insurance capo Commissioner Wayne Goodwin offered to run a proposed health benefits exchange theoretically required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare).

That's not how he explained it, but he would appoint four of seven members of the board and serve as a nonvoting member. Sounds like running it to me.

Goodwin last year "encouraged" Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina to send checks to subscribers in the individual market.

The momentum for creating an exchange (which is not a market and could desiccate an actual market) is entirely driven by the threat of federal intervention.

But the legislature does not need to act this session. We don't know what other exchanges will look like. We don't know what rules the federal government will impose. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners have a different model than the North Carolina Institute of Medicine. Goodwin said his proposal is based on the NCIOM work, but that model did not include anything on governance, so this is him going off on his own without consultation.

Goodwin spoke often about the need for "technical" experts to deal with the "hyper-technical" issues of an exchange. He couldn't even answer questions about the exchange and handed them over to his "technical" expert.

ObamaCare has multiple problems because it passed with inadequate scrutiny. The General Assembly should take its time, appoint a study committee and create an exchange only after members and administrators actually understand what would be involved.

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