Parnell administration rejects state-run health insurance exchange

Alaska Governor Sean Parnell is rejecting the idea of a state-run insurance exchange under the federal Affordable Care Act.

An exchange is a marketplace that provides information on various coverage options.

Parnell says using state funds and personnel to design and implement a program would be the most expensive means of establishing an exchange in Alaska. The governor says federally mandated programs should be paid for with federal dollars.

In 2011, the Parnell administration declined to apply for a federal grant that would have provided up to $1-million to help the state set up an exchange. At the time, the governor cited his belief that the Affordable Care Act was unconstitutional.

Alaska was one of the states that sued to strike down the act, most of which was recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Under the health care overhaul, the federal government could step in and establish exchanges in states where none exist.

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