Another critical and potentially controversial question: How much authority should the exchange should have to regulate insurance premiums? Levin Becker wrote an interesting and substantial story about the exchange’s contentious late November meeting, at which the board decided it would not negotiate rates with the carriers. Greg Bordonaro, writing for the Hartford Business Journal, described the looming battle over negotiating rates. While the Connecticut exchange board has already chosen not to negotiate rates with insurers, leaving that task up to insurance regulators—who are cozy with the industry in the Insurance Capital of the US—the state legislature may have other thoughts. Bordonaro’s good piece laid out a scenario that could break up the customary relationship between regulators and the regulated.

And that circles back to the big news question that came out of the Connecticut exchange’s December meeting, though apparently ignored by the press: Those whom Obamacare is intended to help may not be helped at all, if they can’t afford the insurance.

The Second Opinion, CJR’s healthcare desk, is part of our United States Project on the coverage of politics and policy. Follow @USProjectCJR for more posts from this author and the rest of the United States Project team. And follow Trudy Lieberman @Trudy_Lieberman.


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Trudy Lieberman is a fellow at the Center for Advancing Health and a longtime contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review. She is the lead writer for The Second Opinion, CJR’s healthcare desk, which is part of our United States Project on the coverage of politics and policy. Follow her on Twitter @Trudy_Lieberman.