Jun 28 2013

HEALTH INSURANCE EXCHANGES SUNSET UNDER COCHRAN-BACKED BILL
Cochran Cosponsors Measure to Undo Affordable Care Act Provisions if Oct. 1 Deadline Missed

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Legislation backed by U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) would sunset the health insurance exchanges created by President Obama’s health care law if those “marketplaces” are not in place and operational by Oct. 1.

Cochran is an original cosponsor of the Exchange Sunset Act (S.1154) that would undo the insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) if those exchanges are not ready to enroll consumers by Oct. 1, 2013, as the law directs.

“The uncertainty and anxiety surrounding the implementation of the Affordable Care Act is affecting our economy and confidence in government. The prospect of higher health insurance costs, new government rules and punitive fines are troubling to the families and businesses that must conform to this flawed law,” Cochran said.

“The government has just about three months until health insurance exchanges in all 50 states must be operational. Rather than subject the American people to added uncertainty if the Obama administration fails, this legislation would sunset that effort and allow us to consider more workable and affordable solutions,” he said.

To date, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has been behind schedule in preparing to implement the insurance exchanges or “marketplaces” mandated in the ACA as a means to insure more Americans. The development of exchanges has also been hindered by technological complications.

The law stipulates that exchanges must be operational by Oct. 1 in order to ensure that insurance coverage will begin by the statutory deadline of January 1, 2014. Individuals not covered by employer-provided insurance or Medicaid would be fined if they do not purchase health insurance coverage through a federal or state-run exchange. Mississippi is among the states that opted not to create and operate its own exchange.

S.1154 is the latest legislation supported by Cochran to turn back the ACA. The Exchange Sunset Act was introduced by Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and is also cosponsored by Senators Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and James Inhofe (R-Okla.). It has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee.

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