Letter to the Editor
Published: Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, December 7, 2011 21:12
The Affordable Care Act provides opportunities for each state to establish a new health insurance marketplace, a "one-stop shop" where individuals can compare different health insurance plans and pick the one that works best for their family.
Ohio faces several important decisions in setting up this new marketplace.
The marketplace should serve as a way to organize individuals and small businesses into larger groups that are able to negotiate for better deals with insurers, as large employers do now. For too long, individuals and small businesses have gotten a raw deal on health insurance because they lack similar market clout.
If set up well, new health insurance marketplaces will be able to organize individuals and small businesses into larger groups that are able to negotiate for better, more competitive health care coverage.
How the health insurance marketplace will be governed is another important decision. An independent board that puts the interests of health care consumers ahead of the profit interests of insurers is better than one that is made of or easily influenced by people who profit from health insurance sales.
Exchanges, or health care marketplaces, are a good idea. They will protect consumers, enhance competition in the health insurance market and allow consumers to comparison shop. The law requires that each state participate in a health insurance marketplace, either federally or at the state level. We believe that Ohio consumers will benefit most when decisions that affect their health care are made by Ohioans.
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF ORGANIZING FOR THE CENTER FOR RURAL AFFAIRS
The Center for Rural Affairs was established in 1973 as an unaffiliated nonprofit corporation under IRS code 501(c)3. The Center for Rural Affairs was formed by rural Nebraskans concerned about family farms and rural communities, and we work to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities.