GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Says Mass. Should Seek Obamacare Waiver

Charlie Baker, a former CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care who is running for governor, said Massachusetts ran into problems because it tried to meld its successful state law with new federal requirements. Meanwhile, a mini-health exchange in Florida, which will sell discount cards and other products to "fill benefit gaps," nears launch and Connecticut exchange officials announce they are close to their enrollment goals.

The Associated Press: GOP's Baker: Mass. Should Seek [Waiver] Out Of Health Law
Republican candidate for governor Charlie Baker said Tuesday that Massachusetts should seek a waiver from President Obama's health care law, adding that he's had to personally help people get insurance after they were stymied by the state's troubled website. The former Harvard Pilgrim Health Care CEO said Massachusetts already has a successful health care law — which helped provide a blueprint for Obama’s 2010 law — but ran into trouble when it tried to knit together the state and federal mandates (LeBlanc, 2/4).

Health News Florida: Discount-Plan Site Set To Launch
Florida's answer to the Affordable Care Act,  a mini-health-exchange that will sell discount cards and other products to "fill benefit gaps," says it will open for business in a few days. Florida Health Choices, six years in the making, will sell products that cannot be called "insurance" because they don't meet the legal definition (Gentry, 2/4).

Related KHN Coverage: Florida Readies Its Own Health Insurance Exchange (Galewitz, 10/9/2011).

The CT Mirror: Connecticut Obamacare Exchange Adding Members. Were They Uninsured?
Connecticut's health insurance exchange is nearing its goal of getting 100,000 people signed up for coverage this year. But how close it is to another key goal -- substantially reducing the number of state residents without health insurance -- remains unclear. A central aim of the federal health law commonly known as Obamacare was to get the uninsured covered. But the application for Connecticut’s exchange, Access Health CT, doesn’t ask whether people have coverage at the time they’re applying (Becker, 2/5).

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