GOP state House Rep. Andrew Manuse has a message for the sneaky bureaucrats at the state Insurance Department. He’s onto you.
When the legislature prohibited the state from creating a state-based exchange for residents to evaluate and purchase health insurance, it permitted the state Insurance Department to perform regulatory functions, such as licensing and rate review, within a federally-facilitated exchange.
This week, Deputy Insurance Commissioner Alex Feldvebel met with members of the legislature’s joint Health Care Reform Oversight Committee and recommended that the state enter into a partnership with the federal government to do just that. The plan management partnership would allow the state to continue conducting regulatory functions that have traditionally not been the purview of the federal government, he explained, and would be consistent with state law.
Manuse responded with a big raspberry. That’s just a sneaky way to implement a state exchange, he declared:
We had a Health Care Reform Oversight Committee meeting today, and we heard the Insurance Department’s pitch to form a “partnership exchange,” which is basically a state exchange that the federal government is now calling a federal exchange, to get around HB 1297. Well, thankfully, we have the votes on the Oversight Committee to stop it from happening. N.H. is not going to comply with Obamacare, and only that way, with other states joining us, will Obamacare be repealed.
To make his point, Manuse and his partners in crime are willing to cede regulatory authority to the federal government. If they get their way, the federal government will perform all plan management functions within the exchange and — because many Affordable Care Act requirements extend beyond the exchanges into the entire insurance market — the state’s regulatory authority will be compromised even for health insurance sold outside the exchange.