States Need to Make Decisions After Today's Election

A recent article from Politico predicts a rush of health care rules to follow today’s election.  According to author Jennifer Haberkorn, a “flood of rules” will come following what has been a somewhat stagnant period where little has been implemented.  Signs of this movement have already started, as HHS announced on Friday a final rule for Medicare payment rates.

The once-steady stream of regulations and rules from the Obama administration — instructions for insurance companies, hospitals and states on how to put the law in place — has slowed to a trickle in recent months in an attempt to avoid controversies before the election.

Almost immediately, states must work to decide by Nov. 16 whether or not they will implement a state-run health insurance exchange, or allow the federal government to step in and run their exchange for them.

If Obama wins, that work is likely to continue through the early years of his second term. Democrats will want the law put in place as quickly as possible. They face a late 2013 deadline to have the exchanges ready to go.

And if Romney wins, the need to get the rules out may become even more urgent for Democrats. Any rules or regulations that are not final by Nov. 22 — 60 days before Romney would be sworn in — can be easily put on hold on Jan. 20.

So, considering the possible impacts of today’s outcome, stay tuned for more this week.