Too late for State of Florida to run Obamacare exchanges?

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Describing the state as not even at “square one,” groups backing the Affordable Care Act said Thursday that the federal government should at least initially run a health insurance exchange that is expected to play a key role in helping Floridians get coverage, reports the News Service of Florida.

The federal health law requires exchanges — a type of online insurance marketplace — to operate in each state as of January 2014. But with Florida Republican leaders largely refusing to carry out the Affordable Care Act during the past two years, the groups Thursday said it is too late for the state to be able to run an exchange or form a partnership with the federal government by January 2014.

“Realistically, looking at where other states are and what needs to happen, that’s just not feasible,” said Laura Goodhue, executive director of Florida CHAIN, one of the groups involved in the effort.

The groups sent a letter Thursday to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services about the exchange issue and also have collected petition signatures. Gov. Rick Scott recently said he wants to meet with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about the Affordable Care Act. Also, legislative leaders have signaled they will consider the federal health law during the coming months, with the Senate forming a select committee on the subject.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.