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John Farley


After President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law in March, 2010, New York seemed to be on the fast-track to implementing health care reform.

But thanks to a surge in G.O.P. opposition to the plan in the State Senate, New York’s ability to pass legislation creating a health insurance exchange – a mandatory, publicly operated, one-stop-shopping market where businesses and individuals can purchase health insurance — is less certain.

On Sept. 14, the Capital Report‘s Susan Arbetter talked with two State Senators, the head of the American Cancer Society and a political strategist to discuss the stakes if the Senate misses its next deadline to pass health exchange legislation on Sept. 30.

Until now, New York State seemed to be ahead of the curve when it came to enacting the new laws. After the Affordable Care Act, a more privatized version of the Democrats’ original health care reform plan, was passed, New York received a $1 million planning grant to create a health exchange, reported the New York Times

State Senator Greg Ball said that the G.O.P. decided not to bring the health exchange vote to the floor in June because there wasn’t enough time for his party to debate it. The party also feared that a hastily created health exchange could threaten New York’s strong Medicaid rules, reported Arbetter. It was a disappointment for the Democrats, but with $38.7 million in federal funding, there seemed to have been an assumption that things would go more smoothly in the next session. Not so.

In September, Ball and several other Republicans came out in strong opposition to a health exchange vote.

“I would fight very vociferously to make sure that we’re not seen as implementing and expediting Obamacare,” said Ball, who pointed out that if Obama is defeated in the next election there could be a major reversal in the direction of health care reform policy, reported the New York Times. (READ MORE)


Publication date: 
Thursday, September 15, 2011 - 00:00