Melinda Dutton Speaks to Law360 on Health Reform Implementation
“State Laggards Face Health Exchange Dilemma”
June 28, 2012 – Manatt’s Melinda Dutton, a partner in the firm’s Healthcare Division, spoke to Law360 about the decisions that states will need to make now that the Supreme Court has ruled health reform constitutional.
Law360 reports that states like Florida and Missouri, which haven’t begun implementing health reform, must now decide whether to rush to carry out health benefits exchanges or continue to fight the law.
Industry experts predict that regardless of how states react on the political front, the federal government will likely be amenable to granting extensions beyond the 2014 implementation deadlines.
Dutton told Law360 that the federal government likely would bend over backwards for states that want their exchanges to become a hybrid of federally implemented technology and state-level health plan management – the so-called “partnership model.”
Dutton saw the possibility for some states to hold out against the law, but predicted most would move forward.
She also said states that moved early to implement exchanges would have had the most time to meet the needs of their individual populations. “The more states have been involved up to now, the more autonomy they will have,” she said. “Planning counts and planning helps.”
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