Health care reform limbo

By Lincoln Journal Star, Neb.
Posted Aug. 24, 2011, at 5:23 p.m.

If America were really on board with the health care reform act passed by Congress, state government officials around the country would be busily working on the thousands of details necessary to implement the landmark piece of legislation.

They would be comparing notes with their peers in other states on the nuances of this and that interpretations of the mammoth bill. They would be deeply engaged with various stake-holder groups.

Instead, the country seems to be in a state of limbo, while lawsuits challenging the heart of the law work their way toward an anticipated ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court.

In some states, the process of implementation has been accompanied by political fireworks. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican, returned a $31.5 million “early innovator” grant to help it set up one of the health insurance exchanges that are a major feature of the law.

Five Republican governors and one Democratic governor signed laws making it illegal to mandate anyone within their borders to purchase health insurance, according to stateline.org. The constitutionality of that requirement is the key legal issue headed for the nation’s top court.

Only 10 states actually have passed laws to create the exchanges, according to stateline.org.

The scanty groundwork and the minimal networking do not inspire confidence. If the law is declared constitutional, most states will be forced to do a lot of catch-up.

Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star (Aug. 23)

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/08/24/opinion/health-care-reform-limbo/ printed on August 28, 2014