State Roundup: VT, ID, PA, OR, DC

VERMONT: Federal Law Raises Questions About Who Can Bid For IT Projects That Support The Exchange

A provision of the Affordable Care Act precluding health insurers or companies in the “same controlled group of corporations” as a health insurer from holding exchange contracts raises questions about Optum working on Vermont Health Connect.

Concerns regarding Optum were raised at the federal level by Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the ranking members of the Finance and Judiciary committees respectively.

IDAHO: Your Health Idaho to launch sign-up system

Basically just an overview of the new Idaho ACA exchange; ID is the only state moving from to their own website for the 2nd year, giving them a unique perspective. Most interesting to me is that they're spinning the "autonomy/states-rights" angle, which was the whole reason for pushing states to set up their own exchanges in the first place:

Idaho Health Insurance Exchange Board Chairman Stephen Weeg said the launch will mean Your Health Idaho won't be hindered by the federal government when it comes to making needed changes or corrections.

"Launching our own technology platform brings all elements of the exchange into Idaho and puts Idahoans in control of our own fate," Weeg told the Idaho State Journal

PENNSYLVANIA: Pennsylvania Senate OKs bill on enrollment helpers

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — People who assist others in signing up for insurance under the 2010 federal health care law would have to register with the state and undergo a criminal background check under a bill headed to thePennsylvania state House.

OREGON: Cover Oregon consultant pens scalding assessment

A report by a corporate turnaround expert hired to fix Oregon's troubled health-care insurance exchange presents a scalding assessment of Cover Oregon's past problems.

The draft report by Clyde Hamstreet, made public Tuesday, covers the period from mid-April through the end of August, when Hamstreet and two of his executives tried to straighten up the failing exchange.

The report was released after The Oregonian first inquired about it. It's dated Aug. 29.

In the report, Hamstreet says he found Cover Oregon "in serious disarray." Problems included dysfunctional leadership, a lack of accountability among management, ineffective relations with insurance agents, debilitating expenditures on a failed technology, and piles of untouched work accumulating, among other issues.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: ‘Special Treatment’ for Congress Inspires Another Obamacare Lawsuit

This time it’s not a lawmaker, but an outside conservative group that plans to file suit over alleged “special treatment” for members of Congress enrolled in gold-level coverage plans through DC Health Link.

Judicial Watch, the group that continues to dog the Department of Health and Human Services for more transparency about implementation of the 2010 health care law, will share details Wednesday of a “taxpayer lawsuit challenging the District of Columbia’s special treatment of Congress concerning Obamacare.”