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Health industry leaders have voiced support for Avenue H. But Atkinson said he doubts Utah will be given much leeway to run it under its own rules.
"If you were to ask insurers, they would say it really doesn’t matter to them who runs the exchanges," he said. "Either way, even when you have the state run it, you have to abide by federal rules."
Utah Gov. Herbert will explain his change of heart in a speech Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. MST before the American Enterprise Institute in Washington.
What is Avenue H?
Utah touts Avenue H as a success story, the “red state” alternative to Obamacare. The portal allows employees to shop for coverage using contributions from their employer. It’s the path to health coverage for 318 small businesses and 7,646 workers and their dependents.
Critics argue the model has failed to put a dent in the state’s 378,000 uninsured, largely because, unlike the Affordable Care Act, the state has no mandate for residents to purchase insurance.
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