Governor will not set up insurance exchange

Governor Robert Bentley announced Wednesday afternoon Alabama will not set up a state insurance exchange as required under the Affordable Care Act. Each state had until Friday, November 16, to inform the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services whether it would set up its own healthcare exchange or have the federal government design one.

Bentley said, "I am not going to set up a state-based exchange that will create a tax burden of up to $50 million on the people of Alabama.{} As governor, I cannot support adding such a tax burden onto our citizens." He added,{}"The Affordable Care Act is neither affordable nor does it actually improve health care.{} Congress and the President have said they want to work together to solve the fiscal crisis facing this country, and I suggest they start with this health care bill."

Bentley also has no plans to expand Medicaid because he says the state simply cannot afford it.

Bentley has been speaking with other governors and believes a significant number of them will take a similar stand. The Governor says, "That will send a clear signal to all of our elected leaders in Washington that the healthcare bill should be changed."{}