News from the Associated Press - December 31, 2013

Associated Press
December 31, 2013

Pa. ends pursuit of hiring British lottery firm

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Gov. Tom Corbett is ending his pursuit of the British national lottery operator to run the Pennsylvania Lottery in a privatization deal promising $34 billion in profits over 20 years.

Corbett's announcement Monday came nearly a year after Attorney General Kathleen Kane rejected the Camelot Global Services contract as illegal.

In the meantime, his administration couldn't persuade lawmakers to make such a contract legal.

Corbett isn't ruling out rebidding a lottery management contract in the future. But spokesman Jay Pagni says it makes sense to move on because Pennsylvania's political, legislative and competitive landscape has changed since Camelot submitted its bid.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale applauded the decision, and questioned whether a private manager would've exceeded the performance of current lottery management.

The Pennsylvania Lottery is among the nation's largest.


NY health exchange insures thousands more

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The state's new health exchange reports nearly 481,000 New Yorkers have completed applications for insurance while more than 241,000 of them have enrolled for specific coverage starting Jan. 1.

The Health Department says enrollment for individual and family coverage since October includes 175,146 New Yorkers in the 16 commercial and nonprofit insurers in the exchange and 66,376 in government-funded Medicaid.

The state, like the federal exchange in 36 states under the Affordable Care Act, twice extended its enrollment deadline, most recently to Dec. 24 for 2014 coverage starting on Jan. 1.

Open enrollments continue through March. Applicants with incomes up to 400 percent of the federal poverty line are eligible for tax credits to help offset premium payments.

Another online exchange offers insurance for businesses with up to 50 employees.

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