21:23 GMT07 August 2020
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    Some of the 13 US states are now "quietly considering" merging ObamaCare insurance exchanges before the deadline for reaching full financial independence expires in 2016.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Some of the 13 US states that established their own health insurance exchanges are now "quietly considering" merging them before the deadline for reaching full financial independence expires in 2016, the Hill reported Friday.

    "What is happening is states are figuring out the money is running out… In the last seven business days, I've probably had seven to 10 states contact me about contingency plans…. Clearly, we can't sell the code, which was paid for by federal dollars, but what we can do is have collaborations like joining exchanges, if that's feasible," Jim Wadleigh, the director of Connecticut's exchange, told the newspaper.

    Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as ObamaCare, US states were given an opportunity to create their own insurance exchanges – online markets that allow US citizens to compare private health care providers.

    Launched in 2014, the individual state exchanges are supposed to become fully self-sufficient by 2016. Those who fail to reach this goal will be forced to join the federal insurance exchange system, HealthCare.gov. Despite receiving $5 billion from the federal government to help launch their services, currently most of the state-run exchanges are facing serious financial difficulties. For example, the Covered California had enrolled 300,000 fewer people than expected.

    The much-disputed Affordable Care Act was signed into law in March 2010 and upheld by the US Supreme Court in June 2012. The system continues to come in for criticism with Republican politicians still working on alternatives to replace it.


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