Healthcare insurance expansion

Kingston Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, newly appointed chairman of the Assembly Insurance Committee. (photo by Dion Ogust)

Kingston Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, newly appointed chairman of the Assembly Insurance Committee. (photo by Dion Ogust)

In politics as in nature, it’s good to get close enough to the fire to get warm but not close enough to get burned. In both realms, the ideal distance is often reached through trial and error.

After four years as chairman of the Assembly Energy Committee, Kingston Assemblyman Kevin Cahill got a new job last week. He was appointed chairman of the Assembly Insurance Committee. He said he expected as steep a learning curve in his new chair’s job as he had experienced when he assumed his former chairmanship. Cahill remains a member of the Health, Economic Development, Ethics, Higher Education and Ways and Means committees.

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Under a state executive order signed in April 2012, New York will begin implementing a state-established health benefit exchange (HBE) expected to provide largely subsidized health insurance to more than a million New Yorkers. The state Health Department will have responsibility over the administration of the HBE. But other state agencies, including the Insurance Department, will also be heavily involved. Under the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA), popularly known as Obamacare, private companies compete in the marketplace for health insurance.

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