Nixon Says State Health Exchange \"Not Possible\"

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JEFFERSON CITY - Newly-re-elected governor Jay Nixon held a news conference Thursday to address where Missouri stands regarding the federal Affordable Healthcare Act.

Nixon said the law requires the state have an exchange plan ready by November 16.  The exchanges would be marketplaces through which consumers could buy health insurance if they are uninsured or under-insured through their employers.  Nixon said the legislature had a plan in the spring, but failed to pass it. Nixon said if a  plan is not ready by the deadline set by the federal government, then a federal version of the plan will be automatically implemented in the state.

According to Nixon, the federal mandate is not the best plan for Missouri, because state guided programs are better off, but it is the law. Proposition E passed this Tuesday, not allowing Nixon and his staff to come up with a plan on their own.

Rep. Jay Barnes (R-Jefferson City) said he hopes once the federal plan is established, the legislature will get to work authorizing a state plan run by rules established by Missourians. Barnes, who voted yes to the previous plan, said he will vote yes again in order to move forward and put Missouri in charge of the rules, rather than a federal bureaucrat.