Health Care Overhaul Turns Into A Sprint
|RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press|
But there are hurdles in the way.
Republican governors, opposed to what they deride as "Obamacare," will have to decide whether they somehow can join the team. And the administration could stumble under the sheer strain of carrying out the complex legislation, or get tripped up in budget talks with
"The clarity brought about by the election is critical," said
In the two years since passage of the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration has been consumed with planning and playing political defense. Now it has to quickly turn to execution.
States must notify
Open enrollment for exchange plans is scheduled to start
In all, more than 30 million uninsured people are expected to gain coverage under the law. About half will get private insurance through the exchanges, with most receiving government help to pay premiums.
The rest, mainly low-income adults without children at home, will be covered through an expansion of
A steadying force within the administration is likely to be HHS Secretary
Republicans will be leading more than half the states, so governors are going to be her main counterparts.
"Republican governors are at the center of the health care universe right now," said
On health insurance exchanges, some governors whose states aren't likely to be completely ready are considering the administration's offer of running the new markets through a partnership.
"The real question for Republican governors is, `Are you going to let the feds come into your state?'" Ramlet said. "The question for the Obama administration is whether they are going to have more flexibility."
Major regulations due shortly and covering issues including exchange operations, benefits and protections for people with pre-existing health problems could signal the administration's willingness to compromise.
A recent check by The Associated Press found 16 states and the
As far as
While major changes can't be ruled out, they don't seem very likely to former Senate Majority Leader
"I think Democrats are increasingly emboldened about the health care act," Daschle said. "The president won re-election partly by defending it. There is a new dynamic around the health care effort."
Republican attempts to amend the law will continue, he added, but outright repeal is no longer a possibility. "Budgetary issues will continue to be a big question mark," said Daschle.
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