HHS Admits No Backup Plan

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HHS Admits No Backup Plan

Friday, April 13th, 2012 - 12:10
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Friday, April 13, 2012 - 11:55
Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says her department has no contingency plan.

In the wake of oral arguments at the Supreme Court and observers' belief that the health reform law may be struck down, reporters questioned the Secretary of the overseeing executive branch whether it had an alternative plan. Sebelius stuck to the Administration's party line, claiming confidence that the Affordable Care Act and the individual mandate provision will be upheld.

The Department of Health and Human Services is busy coordinating implementation of the law for all fifty states including the establishment of the health insurance Exchanges. Under siege from groups on the Right and working under the pressure of a number of deadlines to certify states by 2013 for the the 2014 "go-live" date, the department likely does neither has the time nor the resources to dedicate towards developing a brand new plan.
Moreover, the department lacks jurisdiction to approve any new health reform as such a law must be authorized by Congress. Both sides of the aisle have signaled that they are unready for such a change.

In the meantime, some states are moving ahead with implementation of the law. Maryland recently authorized its Health Exchange while others are busily designing the shape of reform efforts in their states. Concurrently, leaders in the private sectors continue to make changes in concert with the law to improve quality and reduce costs even with the law's continued existence in question.