The Chamber signed on to a press release from the governor’s office on May 3 announcing that if the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in June the state will move forward in establishing a state-based health benefit exchange by executive order. Similar to shopping for a flight or hotel on a travel website, an exchange allows individuals and small businesses to shop for qualified health plans on the internet, giving them the ability to compare coverage, provider networks and cost. By bringing purchasers to one central location, the goal is to drive down premium rates through increased competition and reduced marketing expenses.
The ACA permits states to develop an exchange for individuals and small businesses. If a state chooses not to operate its own exchange, the federal government will do so for us. Whether supportive of the ACA or not, the Chamber has long stated that it is better to have the exchange operated in Kentucky than by Washington bureaucrats. It is important for Chamber members to understand that supporting a state-based exchange is not an endorsement of the law itself. So long as the law stands, we must work to shape it in a way that best serves our members.