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CA Department of Insurance

Insurance Commissioner Jones Criticizes House Vote Repealing Funding For Health Exchanges

News: 2011 Press Release

For Release: May 3, 2011
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Insurance Commissioner Jones Criticizes House Vote Repealing Funding For Health Exchanges
House action puts Americans health needs and ability to obtain affordable coverage at risk

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones issued the following statement today after the passage of House Resolution (H.R.) 1213 by the Republican controlled House of Representatives. H.R. 1213 repeals mandatory funding provided to the States in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) to establish Health Benefit Exchanges. Last year, California was the first state in the nation to pass Legislation to create a state exchange. In September 2010, California was awarded a $1 million federal grant to help with the establishment of the Health Benefit Exchange and states across the country received similar grant awards. The California Health Benefit Exchange Board had their first meeting last month and will meet regularly the rest of the year.

"The Affordable Care Act is the law of the land and the Exchange is a critical piece of the new law. The Republican effort to defund implementation of health care reform is irresponsible and short-sighted," said Commissioner Jones. "Without this funding, states would lack the resources to address the unique health needs of their residents."

"In California, we expect the Exchange to be the place where as many as 4-5 million people will shop for their health insurance. Preventing those Californians from buying health insurance coverage and from receiving the tax credits that will be available to many small businesses and individuals through the Exchange could deny millions of Californians the opportunity to purchase affordable health care," concluded Jones.

The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $310 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011 the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $469 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance website at Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.4357. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.

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