Health Care Reform and Loaded Exchange Boards

Connecticut Statehouse

With the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act being enacted, many states are finding the law to be quite confusing. Regulations have yet to be developed in some areas, while funding sources for others aspects of the law are still up in the air. For such a complex undertaking, there are going to burdens for states to overcome. But one financial burden that the states have already received funding for is also turning out to be a burden on its citizens.

The Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires that all states adopt and operate health insurance exchanges. These exchanges are intended to be utilized by individuals that are not able to obtain health insurance through their employer, Medicare and other sources. Small businesses are also eligible to participate in the exchange so that they too can obtain affordable medical coverage for their employees.

Those in charge of running the health insurance exchange, and implementing its policies, are appointed health exchange board members. These board members are typically appointed by Governors and are supposed to be comprised of a majority of members that represent the best interests of consumers. But in Connecticut, a large portion of their health insurance exchange board has strong ties to the insurance industry.

Three appointed members of the health insurance exchange board in Connecticut have held high level positions with Aetna, ConnectiCare, Anthem and one member is the active chairman of Patient Care, an organization that helps businesses with their health insurance policies. One must ask why Governor Dannel Malloy felt compelled to appoint insurance representatives to a board designed to offer small business and individuals an opportunity to purchase health insurance in a competitive marketplace.

Certain small businesses in Connecticut fear that the loaded health insurance exchange board in their state will not represent the best interests of its people, but rather steer profits towards those that they have or are presently working for. These small business owners have very legitimate concerns, which have yet to be addressed by Governor Malloy.

What has happened in Connecticut should be a wakeup call for all Americans and small business owners that are hopeful the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will enable them to seek affordable medical care. The loaded health insurance exchange board in Connecticut also illustrates how a law intended to help people is potentially being corrupted by those with extremely close ties to the health insurance industry.

Reference:

Connecticut Office of Health Reform & Innovation
Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy