Arizona will not create a state-based health exchange

Gov. Jan Brewer notified the Obama administration Wednesday that Arizona will not pursue the creation of a state-based health insurance exchange.

Instead, Arizona will participate in a federally-operated exchange.

“This has been one of the more difficult decisions of my career in public service,” Brewer said in a prepared statement. “My opposition to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is unwavering, as is my belief that it should be repealed and replaced with legislation that achieves its stated goals: to improve access to quality, affordable health care in this country. But I am also aware that the ACA remains the law of the land. Likewise, though I am a steady advocate of local control, I have come to the conclusion that the State of Arizona would wield little actual authority over its ‘state’ exchange. The federal government would maintain oversight and control over virtually every aspect of our exchange, limiting our ability to meet the unique needs of Arizonans and the Arizona insurance market.”

Tom Jenney, Arizona director for Americans for Prosperity, said a federal exchange will protect employers because the Internal Revenue Service will have no authority to impose employer penalties under the federal exchange the way it would under a state exchange.

Phoenix Business Journal by Angela Gonzales, Senior Reporter Date: Wednesday, November 28, 2012, 2:51pm MST