November 09,2012

Press Contact:

Julia Lawless, Antonia Ferrier, 202.224.4515

Hatch Statement on HHS’ Decision to Extend Deadline for States Setting Up Health Insurance Exchanges

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, issued the following statement today after the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it would give states more time to finish their health insurance exchange planning under the $2.6 trillion health spending law:

“That HHS decided to delay the deadline on exchanges is no surprise given the insufficient guidance and information that has been given to governors.  Frankly, that the exchanges are such a mess is pretty emblematic of how flawed the President’s health law is – with states having to bear the brunt.”

Under the President’s $2.6 trillion health law, states are required to determine whether they were going to establish a state-based exchange, or have the Federally-Facilitated Exchange (FFE) operate in the state.  In May, the Administration announced that the Declaration Letter and Exchange Blueprint would be due by November 16, 2012.

Today, the Administration announced an extension for the Exchange Blueprint, but will continue to enforce the November 16 deadline for the Declaration Letter. However, states now have until December to submit their blueprint to HHS. No details have been provided to the states on how the FFE will operate.

Hatch, who has long advocated for full repeal of the health spending law has repeatedly asked HHS to respond to a number of outstanding questions about how the FFE will be implemented. To date, the department has not responded.