State Exchanges Get Mixed Progress Reports, Reviews

News outlets examine states' progress in setting up exchanges and report on some of the issues emerging as the process moves forward.

CQ HealthBeat: So Far, Exchanges Are A 'Mixed Bag' For Patients, Group Says
The health care law will disappoint many Americans if its health insurance exchanges don't deliver decent coverage at affordable rates for consumers, including those with serious illnesses like cancer. Meeting those expectations may be difficult, judging from comments by a major patient advocacy group as it waits for the Obama administration to release rules governing the development of the exchanges and watches state legislatures draft exchange laws (Reichard, 7/6).

CQ HealthBeat: Health Care Law Backers Want Faster Action On Small Business Exchanges
Supporters of the health care law said Wednesday that they're worried states aren't moving fast enough to set up small-business exchanges that will allow workers to purchase health insurance once the law goes into effect in 2014. The liberal-leaning Center for American Progress released a report Wednesday laying out a road map for states to follow when establishing a Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP exchange. These exchanges, which states may choose to combine with larger health insurance exchanges aimed at individual buyers, are designed to offer health plan choices to employees of small businesses (Norman, 7/6).

Denver Post: Many On Health Insurance-Exchange Board Closely Tied To Industry, Each Other
The newly appointed health-insurance-exchange board includes a majority of members with a previously undisclosed series of connections, closely tying the board to the insurance and information-technology industries. Consumer advocates now question whether the board, meant to oversee a health care shopping site for the benefit of hundreds of thousands of state residents, can be independent, given its strong ties to existing industry players (Booth, 7/7).

Kaiser Health News: KHN reporter Juan E. Gastelum recently spoke with Patty Conner, the director of the Utah Health Exchange, about building a successful exchange and adapting it to meet federal regulations (Gastelum, 7/6).

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