Corbett resists setting up health-care exchange in Pa.

    President Barack Obama’s re-election means the Affordable Care Act will move forward, but Gov. Tom Corbett says he sees no reason to rush to implement one of its centerpieces: a health-care exchange in Pennsylvania.

    States mulling whether to plan their own health-care marketplaces or turn the process over to the U.S. government recently received an extension.

    They now have until mid-December to submit a “blueprint” for how the federally mandated health-care exchanges will work. Will it be planned by just the state, just the federal government, or both?

    Corbett says he hasn’t made a decision as far as Pennsylvania’s concerned, and he hardly considers the new Dec. 14 date a deadline.

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    He says the commonwealth could still switch to a state-run exchange even if it were to begin under federal control.

    “Let them start a program and then we can opt in later,” he said. “So I’m keeping my options open at the moment.”

    Corbett says he is not convinced the health-care exchange is a good financial decision for Pennsylvania.

    “I’m concerned about (the way) they say, ‘Well. it’s free.’ Nothing in government is free,” Corbett said. “And I want to drive that home.”

    The federal government has awarded a grant to Pennsylvania for exchange-planning costs, and has promised federal funding for exchange-related costs until 2015.

    After that, all exchanges must be self-funded.

    Several Republican governors have announced they’ll forgo the state-run exchange.

    Corbett, who is heading to the annual meeting of the Republican Governors Association this week in Las Vegas, said he will compare notes with his colleagues in other states.

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