Entries in Health Reform Law (2)


White House Says States On the Way to Heath Care Reform

Creatas Images/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Nearly two months before the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in the country’s sweeping and controversial healthcare reform law, the Obama administration announced Wednesday that every state in the country has taken some steps to move forward with its plan.

Observers, however, say many of those steps are incremental and that states may not be moving fast enough to meet looming deadlines to implement parts of the law passed two years ago. And also omitted by the administration is the fact that 26 states are suing over what critics call Obamacare on constitutional grounds.

Forty-four states are now participating in a requirement to make insurance companies justify any sky-high, double-digit premium rate increases, according to a new report released Wednesday by the White House.

The report also says 28 states and the District of Columbia are in the process of creating a one-stop shop for health insurance, where consumers could choose from a variety of health insurance plans.  These so-called “exchanges” are a key component of the new law and would allow individuals and small businesses to search for better prices and more options in plans.


“We’re very encouraged by the progress that our states are making,” said one administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

States have until January 2014 to create the insurance exchanges, but officials in some states have expressed reluctance to begin implementing the law until the Supreme Court rules.

Although the issue of insurance exchanges is not directly before the Supreme Court, Republican governors and attorneys general for 26 states argue that Congress exceeded its authority in passing the law, which they say unfairly burdens the states.

The court will hear five-and-a-half hours of arguments over three days in late March.  A ruling is expected by late June.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Supreme Court Will Rule This Year on Health Care Reform Law 

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Supreme Court announced Monday morning that it will hear a challenge to the Obama administration’s signature legislative achievement: the health care reform law known as the Affordable Care Act.

In a paper statement the Court said it would focus on a case brought by 26 states, the National Federation of Independent Business and two individuals.

The case challenges the constitutionality of the law’s key provision, the individual mandate that requires individuals to buy health care insurance by 2014 or pay a penalty.

A lower court struck down the mandate.

Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. urged the Supreme Court to take up the case and wrote in briefs that the lower court decision striking down the mandate was “fundamentally flawed” and “denies Congress the broad deference it is due in enacting laws to address the Nation’s most pressing economic problems.”

Verrilli argued that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) addresses “a profound and enduring crisis in the market for health care that accounts for more than 17% of the Nation’s gross national product.”

Paul D. Clement, a lawyer for the 26 states challenging the law urged the Supreme Court in briefs to step in and resolve the “grave constitutional questions surrounding the ACA”. 

Clement argued, “Time is of the essence, States need to know whether they must adapt their policies to deal with the brave new world ushered in by the ACA.”

Under normal circumstances the court will schedule oral arguments for the case this spring, and decide the issue by early summer, just months before the next presidential election.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio