For months, much of the political world was in a wait-and-see mode on health care as the Supreme Court weighed whether the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act was constitutional.
Maine was no exception. In fact, it was one of three states that essentially stopped work on one provision of the law — online, health insurance exchanges for individual and small-business customers — as it waited on the Supreme Court ruling. In April, legislators set up the skeleton requirements for an exchange and said it wouldn’t go into effect if the court overturned the health care law.
But now that the Supreme Court has said the law is constitutional, has much changed?
Maine faces a January 2013 deadline to have its health insurance exchange certified by the federal government or to accept an exchange set up by the federal government instead. And with the court decision out of the way, lawmakers in Maine could return to Augusta for a special session focused on health insurance exchanges.
But that seems unlikely to happen. A spokesman for House Speaker Robert Nutting told me Tuesday the speaker didn’t anticipate the Legislature returning to the capitol. And Gov. Paul LePage told reporter Mal Leary that any decisions on implementing the Affordable Care Act are on hold.
Instead of taking action after the Supreme Court ruling, Republicans are again in a wait-and-see mode.
This time, the wait is for the November election, when they hope voters elect Mitt Romney president and Republican majorities to Congress who make the Affordable Care Act’s repeal their top priority.
I guess we’ll see.