Health News Florida
8:40 am
Fri November 30, 2012

Florida Not Ready for Exchange, Groups Say

A major component of President Obama's Affordable Care Act is the creation of "state health exchanges." These are online markets where consumers will go to compare and shop for health insurance. Some groups, which are longtime supporters of Obamacare, are calling on the feds to step in and set up this exchange in Florida. They say there's no way state officials can do it by the deadline -- a little over a year from now. The states have until Dec. 14th to let the federal government know whether they'll set up their own health exchange, let the feds do it, or form some kind of partnership. Laura Goodhue of the group Florida CHAIN, says there's only one right answer: Let them do it. "We're not ready," Goodhue said in a telephone press conference. " We have not applied for the exchange planning grants that other states have received... Other state have hundreds of millions of dollars, and we're one of the larger states." Goodhue said a coalition of like-minded groups sent a letter with that message to  Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and they're also circulating an online petition which has gathered close to nine thousand signatures. The state insurance exchanges are supposed to be ready by January 2014.