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Corbett Balks at Health Care Exchanges for Pa.

Pennsylvania will join other GOP-led states putting the Affordable Care Act mandate back in federal hands.

According to the Associated Press (AP), Gov. Corbett announced on Wednesday that Pennsylvania will not be setting up its own healthcare exchanges as mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The responsibility for the exchange now falls back to the federal government.

Corbett reportedly blamed federal authorities for the move, saying they didn't provide adequate answers to questions about how the exchange will be paid for and other details.

(See the pdf section for a letter the governor wrote to U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius regarding the decision.)

"Health care reform is too important to be achieved through haphazard planning," Corbett said, according to the AP. "Pennsylvania taxpayers and businesses deserve more. They deserve informed decision making and a strong plan that responsibly uses taxpayer dollars."

Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Rob Gleason released a statement applauding the governor's move. 

"Obamacare is nothing more than a massive tax that increases healthcare costs and puts the federal government between patients and their doctors, and by refusing to participate in Obamacare’s state-based exchanges, Governor Corbett took an important step today to shield Pennsylvanians from the President’s healthcare debacle," Gleason wrote.

"Tom Corbett believes our healthcare system can be reformed, but expanding government bureaucracy to create a system that forces costs to go up while quality goes down is not the answer. Obamacare is bad policy and bad law, and I applaud Governor Corbett for standing up to the President’s takeover of our healthcare system."

State Sen. Daylin Leach reportedly gave Corbett credit for giving more thoughtful reasons for not participating rather than just standing on partisan politics, but said he'll be watching for how Corbett handles the expansion of Medicaid mandated by the ACA.

The exchanges, which would allow citizens to buy private insurance plans, are supposed to be operational by Jan. 1, 2014. According to the AP, 17 states and Washington D.C. have already agreed to set up their own exchanges while 20 GOP-led states are leaving it to the federal government.

Read more about the healthcare exchanges and Corbett's decision here.

Koss Michael December 13, 2012 at 05:12 PM
It is a sad state of affairs when I cannot respond to actions taken by Corbett as being anything other than political. When you report that 20 Republican governors have taken the exact same action, I am suspicious. Had there been a bipartisan effort in similar numbers I would not feel this way. Meanwhile, we the citizens of Pennsylvania lack leadership in our governor. What is best for Republicans seems more important than what is best for the people. Bottom line, the Federal government will do the job so that Corbett and others can then blame too much "government" in our lives.
Wendy Wassmer December 13, 2012 at 06:51 PM
I am so tired of the Republican War on Obama.... Obama has his faults, like the NDAA for example, but the comments and actions by the Republican party over the past 4 + years are doing no one any favors. Let's bitch about healthcare but allow our civil liberties to get bashed again and again. Let's fight tax hikes but also stop helping unemployed people in need, let's stop people who can not get healthcare through their jobs and say it was in the interest of everyone... When everyone can stop bitching down party lines, I'll take politicians more seriously in the big 2 parties, till then I'll keep voting Independent and hope more people follow.
John Q. Public December 13, 2012 at 08:22 PM
17 Democratic ! U.S. senators have requested a delay in implementing a new tax on medical-devices that is scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1. Much like Corbett, they now want protection from its new taxes, but unlike Corbett, they voted for Obamacare. I don't think Casey was in that group of 17, so we in PA are hosed.

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