WASHINGTON (AP) - Fifty million people in America lack health insurance and the law says most of them must soon be provided coverage. But how to deliver?
The Obama administration Monday finalized an ambitious blueprint for new state-based markets that will offer consumers one-stop shopping along the lines of amazon.com.
It may sound simple enough, but getting there will be like running an obstacle course. The rule comes just two weeks before the Supreme Court takes up a challenge to the constitutionality of the law in a case brought by states. Many governors and legislators are on the sidelines awaiting the outcome, even as time is running out to act.
Starting Jan. 1, 2014, new health insurance markets called "exchanges" must be up and running in every state, the linchpin of a grand plan to make health insurance accessible and affordable to those who now struggle to find and keep coverage. Individual consumers and small businesses will be able to shop online for competitively priced coverage, and many will receive government subsidies to help pay premiums.
In this March 23, 2010 file photo, President Barack Obama signs the health care bill, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Tackling a huge logistical challenge, the Obama administration Monday released an ambitious blueprint for states to match up uninsured Americans with coverage that's right for them under the health care overhaul law. The long-awaited regulation, released as the Supreme Court prepares to hear a challenge to the law, stresses state and federal flexibility. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)