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For Release — June 9, 2011

Business Council says state should be cautious with health exchange legislation

ALBANY— “Creating health exchanges under the federal health care reform law is a complex and challenging endeavor. If New York makes mistakes now they will damage our economy for many years to come,” said Heather Briccetti, acting-president & CEO of The Business Council of New York. “Finding affordable, quality health plans is the number one cost of doing business issue for many businesses in our state.”

The Business Council says the state should take a minimalist approach, the federal law only requires, at this point, that states set up a governing structure for an exchange. The State Senate Majority's bill (S.5652) takes the approach supported by The Business Council. Decisions on merging markets, defining “small business”, qualifying health plans, and many others require more information and data than is currently available and decisions made in haste in the absence of quality information will lead to unintended consequences down the road. All significant policy decisions should be made by the legislature and the governor, not delegated to the exchange.

“It would be a mistake to act too quickly and lock the state into an exchange structure and process that will not work for small businesses moving forward. That is why The Business Council urges the Governor and legislature to do no harm in adopting exchange legislation,” added Briccetti.

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