Less Than Meets the Eye: The Obamacare Exchange Regulations

On July 12, 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services announced its new 244-page proposed regulation on state Health Insurance Exchanges.

The Heritage Foundation's Edmund Haislmaier critiques the proposed regulation and argues that it is not as "flexible" as HHS claims, and it leaves a lot of questions unanswered.

State lawmakers—both Republicans and Democrats—keep asking: “What exactly do we have to do by January 1, 2013 (the deadline for HHS to determine if a state will have an acceptable exchange in place by the following year)?” The answer is yet to come. HHS says that it will issue future “guidance” on what needs to be in the “exchange plan” and how “operational readiness” will be determined. Thus, on this score, the proposed regulations are a “non-answer” answer to state lawmakers.