Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett decided Wednesday to let the federal government run a health insurance exchange mandated by the 2010 Affordable Care Act for Pennsylvanians rather than set up a state-based site. Read The Morning Call's full story on the decision here.
Here's a quick roundup of reaction from local area federal lawmakers on the Corbett call:
U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-13th district
“Governor Corbett's decision not to accept the authority to develop and operate a state ‘exchange’ marketplace of private health coverage for individuals and small businesses is a failure of leadership and vision. It is a lost opportunity for the Commonwealth to demonstrate leadership and innovation in affordability and accessibility in the insurance marketplace. And, it fails to build on Pennsylvania’s strong history as a pioneer in the development and successful implementation of private-public partnerships in health insurance coverage for children and adults...
Health coverage and cost are major issues for Pennsylvania families and businesses. While there are unanswered questions, as there are with all new ventures, the Governor's decision demonstrates the low priority he has given to the serious challenge of affordable, accessible health coverage for our citizens.”
U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent, R-15th district
"Governor Corbett’s decision is based on the failure of the President’s Administration to provide clear answers needed to set up an exchange in Pennsylvania, or in any state. Billions of dollars are going to run through these exchanges but the Administration still can’t tell Pennsylvania, or any other state, what the fiscal impact on state taxpayers might be."
U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa
“While he believes the Commonwealth would benefit from a state exchange, moving forward, Senator Casey is determined to work with HHS on behalf of the state to ensure that the federally-facilitated exchange that is going to be set up will meet the needs of all Pennsylvanians.” - Casey Spokeswoman April Mellody
U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa
"This was ultimately the state of Pennsylvania’s call, but I support and applaud Gov. Corbett’s decision not to pursue a state health care exchange.”
Joint statement from Joe Pitts (PA-16), Bill Shuster (PA-9), Jim Gerlach (PA-06), Tim Murphy (PA-18), Charlie Dent (PA-15), Glenn Thompson (PA-5), Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-08), Lou Barletta (PA-11), Tom Marino (PA-10), Mike Kelly (PA-3), and Pat Meehan (PA-7)
“We agree with Governor Corbett’s decision to not pursue a state-based health insurance exchange. The President’s health care law was passed nearly three years ago and yet the Department of Health and Human Services has yet to issue clear guidance to states. The Governor clearly cannot make an informed decision given the scant and tentative information the Obama Administration has provided.
“The potential costs to the state, to taxpayers, and to employers remain unknown. However, it is clear through the actions of this Administration that a state exchange would be state run in name only and real decisions would be dictated by Washington bureaucrats not made by Pennsylvanians. We fully support Governor Corbett’s decision and call on President Obama and Secretary Sebelius to finally answer the critical questions governors have been asking since the law was passed in 2010.”