In just two months, the state of Nebraska will have to make a decision on how to set up a healthcare exchange program.
That's an online marketplace where people who need it, can shop for insurance. Should it be state run, or should the federal government lead the way?
At a meeting held at the Downtown Holiday Inn, several healthcare officials pushed for a state-run option. Some also gave suggests on how to pay for it. "Alegent Creighton Health supports the perspective of the Department of Insurance, that a state-run exchange should be funded by those who buy and sell on the change," said Scott Wooten with Alegent Creighton Health.
Governor Heineman, who has long opposed the Affordable Care Act, says he too supports a state-run program. However, he has questions about whether or not it really gives Nebraskans free reign.
"The question it, is there really any difference between a state-based exchange and a federal exchange given we're given no flexibility?" asked Governor Heineman.
While most supported the state-run option, Andrea Skolkin with the Health Center Association of Nebraska called for a joint partnership between the state and the federal government. She says it'll make paying for the exchange program easier and more efficient.
"The cost to set up and exchange in Nebraska will exceed what revenue is there to get it done. So why not already build on an infrastructure that the federal government is supporting?" asked Andrea Skolkin with the Health Center Association of Nebraska.
This Thursday, the Governor is scheduled to have another meeting on this subject, this time with insurance companies and agents. From there, the meetings will move to Omaha.
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