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CU: Keep funding for state-based health exchanges

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Consumers Union Urges Lawmakers to Reject Attempt to Cut Federal Funding for State-Based Health Exchanges

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the House of Representatives prepares Tuesday to vote on legislation that would repeal the mandatory funding being provided to states to establish state based health exchanges, Consumers Union joined nearly 80 state and national organizations in a letter urging lawmakers to reject the proposal. The letter cautions that without this funding, states will not have the resources to make their exchanges operational, putting affordable healthcare for millions of Americans at risk.
Lisa Swirsky, Senior Health Policy Analyst for Consumers Union said, “State based health exchanges are a bipartisan idea –supported by governors on both sides of the aisle – that will provide families and small businesses with competitive, consumer-centered marketplaces for purchasing health insurance, giving them more choices and lower prices. A large number of states have already expressed interest in establishing their own exchanges, but without this funding they will be deprived of resources necessary to get the exchanges up and running as quickly as possible.”
The creation of state-based American Health Benefit Exchanges is a central element of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) provisions to make affordable, high-quality health insurance coverage available to American consumers. Rather than electing to have the federal government run an exchange for their residents, many states are choosing to establish their own exchanges. In addition, virtually every state has been granted funding under the ACA authority to begin planning or implementing exchanges.
“It is critical that this funding remains intact and we urge Congress to oppose this legislation. Eliminating these vital resources will jeopardize access to affordable, adequate health insurance coverage for millions of Americans,” said Swirsky.
For a copy of the letter, please contact David Butler or Kara Kelber at Consumers Union.

David Butler, Kara Kelber: 202-462-6262