The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

November 20, 2012

Governor defends decision on health exchange

— MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Gov. Robert Bentley is defending his decision against creating a state-based health insurance exchange program and expanding Medicaid in Alabama.

The Gadsden Times (http://bit.ly/TO5GGp ) reported Monday that Bentley once touted a state-based health insurance exchange, but now he says state control is impractical.

The governor's decision means the federal government can now set up a health insurance marketplace for the state under the new federal health care law.

Bentley says that law is cumbersome and unworkable.

Bentley has told Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius the state does not have enough money to operate a health care exchange.

The governor estimates that it would cost the state between $30 million and $50 million to operate the program.

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