A Piecemeal Approach to Health Law in States

federal health care law

The Obama administration’s surprise announcement Friday that it planned to give states broad leeway to pick the benefits offered under the offers yet another example of a gradualist approach to carrying out its signal domestic policy achievement.

health insurance

Facing vociferous Republican opposition, a looming Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of the law and the practical challenges of overhauling the vast market for small businesses and individuals, federal officials are choosing to avoid some crucial choices until well after the 2012 elections. While critics accuse the administration of political expediency, the officials insist the decisions have been based on sound policy judgments.

In passing a good deal of the decision-making to states, the administration has guaranteed that Americans will continue to face a patchwork of state regulations that make coverage uneven and inefficient. People in Utah and Wyoming, for example, are likely to have more limited access to expensive services now mandated in states like Massachusetts and Maryland — at least until 2016, when a senior administration official said the federal government plans to determine which state-mandated benefits are not essential and must be either paid for by states or no longer mandated.

Read more at: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/21/health/policy/obamas-piecemeal-approach-to-health-law-in-states.html?ref=health

Source: The New York Times