Bentley: Ala. will not create health insurance exchange

Bentley: Ala. will not create health insurance exchange

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Governor Robert Bentley announces Alabama will not set up a health insurance exchange while speaking at a luncheon at the BJCC. Source: Alan Collins Governor Robert Bentley announces Alabama will not set up a health insurance exchange while speaking at a luncheon at the BJCC. Source: Alan Collins
Gov. Robert Bentley.  Source: Alan Collins Gov. Robert Bentley. Source: Alan Collins
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Governor Robert Bentley announced Tuesday that the state will not create a health insurance exchange as required by the Affordable Care Act.

"I am not going to set up a state-based exchange that will create a tax burden of up to $50 million on the people of Alabama. As governor, I cannot support adding such a tax burden onto our citizens," Bentley said.

Bentley called the act the "worst piece of legislation" he has ever seen and believes as it is written, it will destroy the healthcare profession.

"The Affordable Care Act is neither affordable nor does it actually improve health care. Congress and the President have said they want to work together to solve the fiscal crisis facing this country, and I suggest they start with this health care bill," Bentley added.

The governor also said he will not expand Medicaid, saying the state "simply can't afford it."

Bentley announced the decision while speaking at the Governor's Luncheon hosted by the Birmingham Business Alliance at the BJCC.

Friday, Nov. 16 is the deadline for states to decide if they will set up a state exchange, which would let people shop for insurance, or allow the federal government to set it up. Bentley questioned the legality of the federal government creating an exchange in Alabama, saying he believes it would be unconstitutional.

"We believe the federally facilitated system they can set up and will set up or will try to set up is unconstitutional," he said.

Bentley said he believes that if enough states say "no" to the health insurance exchange, Congress will look at the Affordable Care Act again.

Bentley said Oklahoma is already looking to take the federal government to court over the effort to set up the exchanges. He says he would consider a lawsuit against the government also.

Bentley announced the decision while speaking at the Governor's Luncheon hosted by the Birmingham Business Alliance at the BJCC.

This week, Bentley will meet with other governors at the National Governors Meeting in Las Vegas to discuss the showdown.

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