Conservatives say Cuomo overstepping on use of exec power to establish health exchange

By Lauren McNitt


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order Thursday to establish the state health insurance exchange required under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Cuomo opted to use his executive power after the Republican majority in the State Senate refused to consider measures to establish an exchange.

“Establishing the health exchange will bring true competition into the health care marketplace, driving costs down across the state,” Cuomo said in a statement.

Republican lawmakers refused to support exchange legislation because they argued that to approve the exchange legislation would indicate their support of PPACA. In addition, they pointed to the uncertainty of the future of PPACA, which the Supreme Court is currently reviewing.

Cuomo’s move drew criticism from some conservatives. New York State Sen. Gregory Ball said Cuomo is “sidestepping the legislature,” and argued setting up an exchange when the future of the health reform law is still in question is “fundamentally imprudent.”

Where are other states on health exchanges?

In a Kaiser Family Foundation overview of state efforts published in March, 13 states and Washington, D.C. had established exchanges. Twenty states were studying options, including New York. Twelve states, most with Republican governors, had no significant activity. Arkansas and Louisiana have announced they do not intend to create an exchange.

Kaiser state health exchange profiles