Insurance industry consultant Robert Laszewski said a majority of Republican-led states, facing a Friday deadline to submit plans for running the state-based exchanges key to the Affordable Care Act, have opted to cede much or all control of the program to the federal government, The Washington Post reported Thursday.
"If you believe in states' rights and you believe in state control, why would you cede that control?" Laszewski said. "There's a lot of cut-off-your-nose-to-spite-your-face going on,"
Just 18 states and the District of Columbia said they would operate their own exchanges, which are scheduled to begin enrollment in October. Thirty-two states said the exchanges will be run either solely by the federal government or as a federal-state partnership.
Several governors, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, have complained that the Obama administration hasn't answered questions on critical issues, including the cost of running the exchanges, in a timely manner.
"I will not ask New Jerseyans to commit ... to a state-based exchange when the federal government cannot tell us what it will cost, how that cost compares to other options and how much control they will give the states over this option," Christie said last week after vetoing a bill passed by the Democratic-controlled Legislature that would have established an exchange.
Under the law, the exchanges would allow consumers to compare policies and buy affordable coverage. By 2016, about 23 million Americans are expected to get their coverage through the exchanges.