EXCHANGing Views blog delivers news and expert analysis of developments in federal and state-based health insurance exchanges, including updates on policy, regulation and litigation

To keep businesses and policymakers abreast of a rapidly evolving, new area of health policy and law, McKenna Long & Aldridge has launched a new blog, EXCHANGing Views: MLA Health Vision. Updated regularly with commentary and analysis from members of the firm’s leading Health Insurance Exchange Team, EXCHANGing Views will examine developments in legislation, regulation, litigation and breaking news in the growing world of America’s health insurance exchanges.

This new blog is directed at a wide audience of readers eager to make sense of the shifting rules and active litigation environment impacting the country’s health insurance exchanges, including health care providers, insurance carriers and brokers; government service providers, Medicaid contractors and program managers; pharmaceutical companies; technology companies; federal and state policymakers; as well as those who work within state and federal health insurance marketplaces and private exchanges. EXCHANGing Views will highlight the legal, regulatory, financial and political issues affecting exchanges today and driving the changes in how they will operate going forward.

The shift of power following the recent midterm elections, granting Republican control of Congress, portends new challenges to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), both legislative and investigatory. Compounding the uncertainty troubling those operating in the ACA exchange business environment is the recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a case concerning whether federal tax credits are available to those who live in states where exchanges have not been established by the state but are instead run by the federal government.  The Court’s acceptance of King v. Burwell, coupled with the possibility that it could rule against the Administration, prompted the Washington Post to opine that “Obamacare risks falling into a ‘death spiral.’”

“We feel our new blog is especially timely with Open Enrollment in the exchanges starting this Saturday, November 15,” said Cindy Gillespie, senior managing director and leader of McKenna Long’s Health Insurance Exchange Team. “In the years since the ACA was signed into law, McKenna Long has developed a unique cross-practice collaboration between our policy and legal professionals helping companies and organizations navigate the new realities of health care and insurance options.”

Initial postings by EXCHANGing Views include:

  • Mapping Exchanges:  The 2015 Picture

An overview of policy and politics by Ms. Gillespie and analyst Camden Miller highlighting issues facing states as they prepare for the start of Open Enrollment. Color-coded maps illustrate some of the challenges, responses and options emanating from various regions of the country as the new Marketplace Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Counihan, aims to avoid the disaster that rocked the 2013 rollout.

  • Litigation

This two-part series covers litigation around the nation that concerns the ACA.

Part One covers challenges to the law itself, particularly the issue of what constitutes an exchange established by a state. On July 22, in an unprecedented twist, the decisions in Halbig v. Burwell (D.C. Cir.) and King v. Burwell (4th Cir.) were issued on the same day, just hours apart, with the two courts reaching the exact opposite conclusion to the same essential question.

In Part Two, Joanne Zimolzak, who leads McKenna Long’s Washington-based Insurance Litigation Section and is the firm’s Washington office managing partner, looks at challenges to exchange operation as they affect health care consumers and other stakeholders.

  • State of the States

Each Friday we will  post “Health Insurance Exchange Developments: State of the States” issued by McKenna Long’s Public Policy practice. This week  will cover developments of the last four weeks.

“We are proud to be the first team in the nation of this nature and we plan to provide clear and concise information to help our readers understand these changes and their practical impacts through this blog,” said Ms. Gillespie.

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