Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order to open a health insurance exchange in New York State on Thursday, using funds incoming from the federal government as part of the Affordable Care Act.
Cuomo, according to the New York Times, had been urging the state legislature to begin the program for a year, but evidently got tired of waiting and kicked things off himself.
"The bottom line is that creating this health exchange will lower the cost of health insurance for small businesses, local governments, and individual New Yorkers across the state. The sky-high cost of insurance in New York is driving businesses out of the state and preventing lower income New Yorkers from being able to afford needed coverage," Cuomo said. “Establishing the health exchange will bring true competition into the health care marketplace, driving costs down across the state."
According to a recently released national report, the need for affordable healthcare seemed particularly acute for densely populated urban centers such as Brooklyn.
In the survey, Kings County ranked 54th out of 62 counties in New York State in terms of health.
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Paul Leonard contributed reporting.