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The First Sign State Laws Crimping Obamacare May Not Stand

Health navigator Rebecca Wener (left) talking to a patient about health insurance exchanges at a Community Clinic health center in Silver Spring, Md.
Health navigator Rebecca Wener (left) talking to a patient about health insurance exchanges at a Community Clinic health center in Silver Spring, Md.Photograph by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

In so many ways, geography is destiny when it comes to Obamacare. The cost of health plans offered on the new insurance marketplaces varies widely from state to state. Access to the expanded Medicaid program depends on where you live because many GOP-led states opted out of the expansion.

And for those who need some help figuring out how the new insurance exchanges work, there’s also a geographic divide. In most states, so-called navigators are available to assist the uninsured in enrolling either via the online sites or on paper. But in some states, these helpers are scarce.