The Associated Press
(AP) - A look at where the 50 states and the District of Columbia stand on implementing President Barack Obama's federal health care overhaul, which the Supreme Court ruled Thursday can go forward with its aim of covering more than 30 million uninsured Americans.
NUMBER OF UNINSURED: 720,000 state residents are uninsured, or about 15.4 percent.
WHERE THE STATE STANDS: Republican Gov. Robert Bentley, a physician, created a commission in 2011 to recommend a plan for an online health insurance exchange, but he successfully opposed efforts by some legislators to enact one in May. Bentley had called it premature to act before the Supreme Court ruled. Critics said the bill would have limited the exchange to companies operating statewide, which is one at this point.
NUMBER OF UNINSURED: 125,000 state residents are uninsured, or about 18 percent.
WHERE THE STATE STANDS: Alaska, which is among the states that sued over the constitutionality of the federal health care law, has yet to implement an online health insurance exchange. The health department has hired a consultant to help design one, and that report is expected soon.
NUMBER OF UNINSURED: 1.28 million state residents are uninsured, or about 19 percent.
WHERE THE STATE STANDS: Arizona is among the states that challenged the constitutionality of the health care overhaul. Republican Gov. Jan Brewer's administration has moved to implement part of the law by reviewing health insurance rates to see if they should be labeled unjustifiably high. The state also has accepted a federal grant to create a state health insurance exchange.
NUMBER OF UNINSURED: 539,000 state residents are uninsured, or about 19 percent.
WHERE THE STATE STANDS: Arkansas decided on a federal-state partnership for its health insurance marketplace. Legislators blocked a bill by which the state would have created its own insurance exchange but have since accepted a grant that will allow it to at least have a role in the federally created exchange.
NUMBER OF UNINSURED: NUMBER OF UNINSURED: 7,209,000 state residents are uninsured, or about 19 percent.
WHERE THE STATE STANDS: California has worked to be a model for the health care law and has begun implementing parts of it, including creating the beginnings of health insurance exchanges to provide consumers a marketplace to purchase insurance policies starting in 2014. The state also has already banned insurers from refusing coverage for children with pre-existing illnesses and young adults already are allowed to stay on their parents' plans through age 26 in California.
NUMBER OF UNINSURED: 656,000 state residents are uninsured, or about 13 percent.
WHERE THE STATE STANDS: Colorado lawmakers passed legislation in 2011 to set up health insurance exchanges, and a commission is in the process of implementing them. The exchanges are set to start October 2013.
NUMBER OF UNINSURED: About 377,000 state residents are uninsured, or about 11 percent.
WHERE THE STATE STANDS: Connecticut has hired staff and a board of directors to begin implementing health insurance exchanges and have them in place by the 2014 deadline set by the federal law. The state already is allowing people under 26 years old to stay on their parents' health insurance policies, which is part of the federal law.
NUMBER OF UNINSURED: Between 100,000 and 110,000 Delaware residents are uninsured, or about 11 percent.
WHERE THE STATE STANDS: Delaware officials are working on a health insurance exchange. State officials also are accepting public input as they come up with minimum coverage requirements that must be included in health care plans for individuals and small businesses.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
NUMBER OF UNINSURED: 76,000 district residents are uninsured, or about 12 percent.
WHERE THE DISTRICT STANDS: The district approved a law creating a health insurance exchange in December 2011 and is in the process of implementing it, with the goal to have it fully operational by the second half of 2013. The D.C. Council also has passed local laws allowing residents to stay on their parents' insurance until age 26 and mandating that 80 percent of insurance premiums be spent on medical care.
NUMBER OF UNINSURED: 3.85 million state residents are uninsured, or about 21 percent.
WHERE THE STATE STANDS: Republican Gov. Rick Scott ordered the state not to accept federal money for implementing the health care law after he took office last year. Florida has rejected or declined to pursue more than $106 million and has returned $4.5 million. The state has its own health insurance exchanges, mainly for small businesses but without an insurance mandate for individuals. The state has not implemented an exchange that would meet the requirements of the federal law.
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