According to the Associated Press (AP), Gov. Corbett announced on Wednesday that Pennsylvania will not be setting up its own healthcare exchanges as mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The responsibility for the exchange now falls back to the federal government.
Corbett reportedly blamed federal authorities for the move, saying they didn't provide adequate answers to questions about how the exchange will be paid for and other details.
See the pdf section for a letter the governor wrote to U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius regarding the decision.
"Health care reform is too important to be achieved through haphazard planning," Corbett said, according to the AP. "Pennsylvania taxpayers and businesses deserve more. They deserve informed decision making and a strong plan that responsibly uses taxpayer dollars."
Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Rob Gleason released a statement applauding the governor's move.
"Obamacare is nothing more than a massive tax that increases healthcare costs and puts the federal government between patients and their doctors, and by refusing to participate in Obamacare’s state-based exchanges, Governor Corbett took an important step today to shield Pennsylvanians from the President’s healthcare debacle," Gleason wrote.
"Tom Corbett believes our healthcare system can be reformed, but expanding government bureaucracy to create a system that forces costs to go up while quality goes down is not the answer. Obamacare is bad policy and bad law, and I applaud Governor Corbett for standing up to the President’s takeover of our healthcare system."
State Sen. Daylin Leach reportedly gave Corbett credit for giving more thoughtful reasons for not participating rather than just standing on partisan politics, but said he'll be watching for how Corbett handles the expansion of Medicaid mandated by the ACA.
The exchanges, which would allow citizens to buy private insurance plans, are supposed to be operational by Jan. 1, 2014. According to the AP, 17 states and Washington D.C. have already agreed to set up their own exchanges while 20 GOP-led states are leaving it to the federal government.
Read more about the healthcare exchanges and Corbett's decision here.