Alaska Governor Sean Parnell Says No To State-Run Health Exchange

Alaska Governor Sean Parnell is rejecting the idea of a state-run health insurance exchange under the federal health care law. In a statement released yesterday, Parnell says federally mandated programs should be paid for with federal dollars and using state funds and personnel to design and implement an exchange is the most expensive option before the state.   Alaska was one of the states that sued over the health care law.

Citing a June 21 report prepared by Public Consulting Group, he goes on to say  “It doesn’t make sense to spend Alaskans’ dollars to set up an exchange when so much uncertainty exists about how to implement it and how to gain federal approval.”

The PCG report was released just days before the Supreme Court upheld most of the federal health care law.

Despite what appears to be a preference for an intermediate approach where the state would maintain some management powers, the report avoids giving a clear-cut recommendation for a specific approach. Instead, it hedges its recommendation behind a concern about politics.

The “State staff indicate a strong desire for the state of Alaska to find a state specific solution for exchange creation and a preference to not rely on federal solutions,” it states. “For this reason, the cost estimate of the eligibility system rules out a federal option.”

Alaska will join a growing list of states declining to start state-run exchanges.


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