StateStats: Granted, Money Helps: May 2011 

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In response to the federal Affordable Care Act, many state officials have begun work on meeting the requirements outlined in the health reform law. Despite some uncertainties, state efforts continue as provisions take effect and deadlines approach.

To help states with planning and implementing the Affordable Care Act, the federal government has awarded grants to state agencies, tribal organizations, health centers, research centers and other entities within all 50 states. Grants cover many areas, including the health care workforce, community health centers, long-term care, public health, the insurance market and research.

Every state except Alaska applied for and received federal funds to begin planning and establishing health insurance exchanges. The exchanges need to be up and running by 2014.

Two states, however, returned some of the federal grants. Florida Governor Rick Scott returned a $1 million grant for planning a health insurance exchange and another $1 million for developing a system to monitor premiums and insurance-rate changes. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker returned a $637,114 grant for helping consumers understand their health care choices. And at the end of March, Louisiana announced it will opt out of establishing a state-based health insurance exchange and will return the $998,416 planning grant.