The re-election of President Barack Obama signals full-speed ahead for the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (health care reform), including the creation of public health insurance exchanges. The act mandates that all U.S. states and territories establish and launch their own health insurance exchange by 2014, or default to a federal fallback program.
While the numbers keeps moving, presently it is estimated that between 16 and 23 states plus Washington, D.C., plan to launch their own exchanges. Another 15 said that they would defer to the federal government, and the balance are still mulling over their options. One year from now, 12 million Americans are expected to begin purchasing health insurance through an exchange and ultimately that number is likely to more than double, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
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