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Compromise created health exchange

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By Sherry Robinson

We now have a New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange board named by both the governor and the Legislature. Key up the band to play a rousing march.
As usual, New Mexico is toward the end of the parade, but we have the luxury of learning from states that have gone before.
The board’s job, under the Affordable Care Act, is to set up a marketplace where individuals and businesses can shop for health insurance, compare price and coverage, and purchase plans from private insurers — a kind of Amazon.com for insurance.
The painstaking balance of this board and the nature of the exchange are the products of a lot of wrangling. State lawmakers worked on a bill for two years only to have it vetoed by the governor, who took the process away from them. After a year of unproductive plodding by the administration, the Legislature this year took it back, cast aside two bills and settled on a third, which was a compromise measure.
The big issues: Who, exactly, would sit on this board and how would they be chosen? And would the exchange itself be governed by the state or the marketplace?


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