McDonnell: Va. won't set up its own insurance exchange

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Photo - AP file
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority caved to the demand of Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors to drop its plan to give an advantage to union-friendly bids for the next phase of the Dulles Rail project.
AP file The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority caved to the demand of Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors to drop its plan to give an advantage to union-friendly bids for the next phase of the Dulles Rail project.
Local,Virginia,Steve Contorno

With a Friday deadline looming for his decision, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said Tuesday he remains opposed to setting up state-run health insurance exchange and will likely let the federal government deal with the task of helping uninsured Virginians find coverage.

Under President Obama's health care reforms, states have until the end of the week to decide whether to operate a state-run exchange that would allow the uninsured to buy insurance in an open market, or to rely on an exchange that would be set up by the federal government. Speaking Tuesday morning on WNIS radio in Norfolk, McDonnell said he remains unmoved by calls from lawmakers for Virginia to set up its own system.

"I don't see that there's any certainty that running a state-based exchange makes sense," McDonnell said. "I think we're going to get stuck with the price tag for an exchange with very little state control."

Obama gave McDonnell and his fellow Republican governors an extra month to comply with this critical portion of the new federal health care law. But McDonnell said too many questions remain.

McDonnell also indicated Virginia will opt out of a Medicaid expansion that would cover more low-income and disabled residents, another key provision of the reforms.

"I cannot see expanding Medicaid in Virginia unless we reform it dramatically," he said.

scontorno@washingtonexaminer.com

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