White House Gives States More Time to Implement Obamacare

November 10, 2012 4:19 pmBy: 

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is getting his wish — more time to submit a plan for a state health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.

McDonnell and other governors, mostly Republicans, have complained that they were not given enough time or information to enable the to decide whether, and how, their states would set up health insurance exchanges or whether they would leave the job to the federal government.

On Friday, the Obama Administration extended the Nov. 16 deadline to Dec. 14, or in some cases to Feb. 15.

By Jan. 1, 2014, Americans will be able to obtain insurance coverage through new online shopping malls known as insurance exchanges. As any as 25 million people are expected to be eligible for federal subsidies averaging about $5,000 a year to help them pay the premiums.

The exchanges are intended to spark competition among private insurers, encouraging them to hold down premiums and compete to provide the best possible coverage. Although it is essentially a free-market system with what might be called voucher payments to individuals, it rankles Republican governors who apparently would prefer to let their citizens fend for themselves.

Critics say it’s not that the governors hadn’t been given enough information but rather  that they were dragging their feet, first hoping the Supreme Court would overturn the law, then hoping that Gov. Mitt Romney would be elected president and would, somehow, repeal Obamacare “on Day One,” as he had often claimed he would do.

Having done nothing for months, the McDonnell Administration began complaining earlier this week that it was feeling rushed.

“States need to understand the federal exchange model and answers remain to be provided as to how the pieces will link together within an exchange partnership between the federal and the state,” McDonnell spokesman Jeff Caldwell told the Washington Business Journal. “We now have 10 days until the first decision is expected. This is not a reasonable timeline given the lack of information provided to states.”

The White House said Friday that if a state wants to run its own exchange its governor must submit a declaration of intent — a simple letter — but said submission of detailed information will not be required until later.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius said that, the governors’ whining notwithstanding, “Cosumers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia will have access to insurance through these new marketplaces on Jan. 1, 2014, as scheduled, with no delays.”

Comments

More Top Stories

  • Police & Crime Top Stories Two Virginia State Police troopers hurt in separate incidents

    Two Virginia State Police troopers hurt in separate incidents

    Two Virginia State Police troopers have been injured in separate accidents today. In the most recent incident, a trooper had stopped a traffic violator on the shoulder of the westbound lanes of I-66, just east of the Beltway/I-495 interchange. The trooper was standing next to the violator’s car when a passing vehicle ran off the road and collided with the vehicles stopped on the shoulder. The trooper was struck during the course of the collision. The trooper and three others have […]

    Read more →
  • Police & Crime Prince William Top Stories Virginia State Police trooper injured in crash

    Virginia State Police trooper injured in crash

    A Virginia State Police trooper is recovering after his vehicle was struck by an out-of-control SUV in Prince William County. The crash occurred at approximately 3:30 a.m. Tuesday along the southbound lanes of Interstate 95 near the 152 mile marker. Trooper I.J. Dallam Sr., was parked off the left side of Interstate 95 (where the former HOV lanes used to merge into southbound I-95) and running stationary radar on southbound traffic. A 2000 Ford Explorer was traveling at an excessive rate […]

    Read more →
  • Top Stories Transportation Connolly “stunned” at revelations, warns of Metro “safety gap”

    Connolly “stunned” at revelations, warns of Metro “safety gap”

    The Ranking Member of a House Subcommittee that on Friday will look at Washington Metrorail safety in the wake of the January 12 Yellow Line fatal smoke incident says he will focus on six urgent federal recommendations on ventilation just issued by the National Transportation Safety Board. Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Ranking member of the House Government Operations Subcommittee, said “Frankly, it is stunning that WMATA would need NTSB to remind it that the Metrorail system should have a ventilation […]

    Read more →
  • Falls Church Great Falls Herndon McLean Politics Top Stories Vienna Jennifer Chronis announces candidacy in Dranesville District

    Jennifer Chronis announces candidacy in Dranesville District

    Today, Great Falls resident Jennifer Chronis announced her campaign for Fairfax County Board of Supervisors-Dranesville District, picking up the endorsement of Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield). The seat is now held by John W. Foust. “Fairfax County is at a crossroads. The decline in federal spending is impacting our local economy after decades of prosperity, limiting the revenue that we need to invest in our schools, transportation and other needs that are critical to our quality of life,” Chronis said. “The […]

    Read more →
  • Health Top Stories Suspected Fairfax measles case tests negative

    Suspected Fairfax measles case tests negative

    The Fairfax County Health Department says a suspected case of measles has tested negative. The department had said yesterday (Tuesday) that it was investigating a possible case in an unnamed Fairfax County resident but today said tests came back negative. People who have received at least one dose of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine in the past are at very low risk of being infected with measles. Measles is easily preventable through safe and effective MMR vaccine. The best […]

    Read more →
  • Health Top Stories Possible measles case in Fairfax

    Possible measles case in Fairfax

    The Fairfax County Health Department is currently investigating a suspected case of measles in a Fairfax County resident. Test results will not be known for approximately 24 hours. Health officials are currently identifying potential exposure sites, and the individual is in self-isolation at home. No other details will be announced until test results become available. If the case is positive, a news conference will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 11. People who have received at least one dose of measles, […]

    Read more →
  • Police & Crime Top Stories Warner offers tips to Virginians affected by Anthem data breach

    Warner offers tips to Virginians affected by Anthem data breach

    U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) provided a variety of useful resources and an online form on his Senate website today for Virginians potentially impacted by the cyberattack targeting Anthem to contact his office for assistance. Anthem, Virginia’s largest health insurer and the provider serving state and federal employees and retirees, announced today that hackers recently gained access to up to 80 million customer names, birthdates, Social Security numbers, mail and email addresses, employment and income information. Anthem reportedly is […]

    Read more →
  • Business Politics Top Stories Beyer buys in to plan to regulate Internet

    Beyer buys in to plan to regulate Internet

    As expected, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler has outlined what he called the “strongest open Internet protections ever proposed” and Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) says Wheeler’s plan would ensure “fair, equal access” to everyone. The plan, outlined in a Wired magazine op-ed, would bring broadband service under Title II of the Communications Act, treating it for the first time as a public utility and enshrining the “network neutrality” principles long demanded by consumer advocates. Wheeler’s plan would outlaw “fast lanes” […]

    Read more →