What le­gal drama?

Ad­min­is­tra­tion, providers charge ahead on ACA

Modern Healthcare - - THE WEEK - Rich Daly

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion and health­care in­dus­try groups say they will con­tinue gear­ing up for full im­ple­men­ta­tion of the fed­eral health­care over­haul, even as some worry the U.S. Supreme Court will pull the plug.

Ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials expressed con­tin­ued con­fi­dence in the con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity of the law, and the pres­i­dent him­self ig­nited some con­tro­versy by as­sert­ing the court would be di­verg­ing from its tra­di­tion of re­straint if it finds oth­er­wise.

HHS Sec­re­tary Kath­leen Se­be­lius said the depart­ment isn’t mak­ing any con­tin­gency plans. “We have very im­por­tant im­ple­men­ta­tion ef­forts un­der way,” Se­be­lius said dur­ing an April 4 health­care fraud sum­mit in Chicago. “We don’t have the lux­ury of paus­ing and wait­ing for the court decision.”

But un­cer­tainty over the fu­ture of the mas­sive Pa­tient Pro­tec­tion and Af­ford­able Care Act has grown af­ter the U.S. Supreme Court’s oral ar­gu­ments re­gard­ing the law in late March, with many ob­servers con­clud­ing that the di­rec­tion of the jus­tices’ ques­tion­ing in­di­cated deep doubts about the pro­vi­sion re­quir­ing in­di­vid­u­als to buy health in­sur­ance and whether the rest of the law could stand with­out it (April 2, p. 6).

Dr. Ge­orges Ben­jamin, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor

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