“(3) USE OF FUNDS.—A State shall use amounts awarded under this subsection for activities (including planning activities) related to establishing an American Health Benefit Exchange, as described in subsection (b).” – Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Data from procon.org
“Affordable Insurance Exchanges will provide individuals and small businesses with a ‘one-stop shop’ to find and compare affordable, quality private health insurance options.
Exchanges will bring new transparency to the market so that Americans will be able to compare plans based on price and quality. By increasing competition between insurance companies and allowing individuals and small businesses to band together to purchase insurance, Exchanges will help lower costs.”
“Health insurance exchanges are the centerpiece of the private health insurance reforms of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA). If they function as planned, these exchanges will expand health insurance coverage, improve the quality of such coverage and perhaps of health care itself, and reduce costs…
One valuable role that exchanges can play is to administer subsidies that assist lower- and middle-income people in purchasing insurance… Exchanges are ideally situated to administer these subsidies, as eligibility can be determined during the enrollment process, and the subsidies can be sent directly to the insurance plan chosen by each person.”
“Obamacare takes [the exchange] concept and distorts it in a critical way, by taking over the insurance market and micromanaging the design of insurance plans that can be sold on the law’s exchanges.
…[T]he thrust of Obamacare’s exchanges is to shoehorn consumers into a narrow set of government-approved products, so as to protect them from making choices that the government deems unwise. The side effect of this approach is to prevent insurers from coming up with innovative products that deliver cost-efficient care…
Imagine if the government required that you could only buy a home that was between 2,000 and 2,500 square feet, with two bedrooms, five electrical outlets, and a solar panel, and you get a sense of what Obamacare’s exchanges do.”
“Health insurance exchanges are a good idea—if they are used to implement patient-centered and market-based health reforms that enhance choices and value for customers. The exchanges prescribed by Obamacare will have the opposite effect…
Rather than serving as a mechanism for expanding health insurance choice, variety, and competition, and for spurring plans and providers to innovate and offer customers better value, Obamacare exchanges will impose new regulations, administer new subsidies, standardize coverage, and restrict consumer choice and insurer competition more than it is already. Thus, in the PPACA Congress has perverted the exchange concept into a bureaucratic tool for federal subsidization, standardization, and micromanagement of health insurance coverage by the Department of Health and Human Services.”