Kathleen Sebelius rocks. Hard. Since the passage of health care reform legislation, she has been working to lay down the rules and regs to ensure enforcement is to both the letter and spirit of the law. And given her history and complete lack of temerity when it comes to taking on insurers, I dare say we can be cautiously optimistic.
But she isn't just slaving away in wonkish drudgery; HHS has been very pro-active in
giving notice to communicating with insurers on the finer points of the law. She already won the battle over their too-clever-by-half dodge of covering children with pre-existing conditions. Yessir, I'm liking the new sheriff in town.
In addition to crafting regulations for the new law and wrangling important concessions from insurers, HHS is also doing that approachable, transparent government thing. Not only can we leave comments regarding the MLR regulations and premium review process, but you can also ask direct questions about the law itself, which will hopefully be answered in a live web chat tomorrow. That is to say, questions will be answered and hopefully, one might be yours!
Nancy-Ann DeParle, Director of the White House Office of Health Reform, joined HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for a Q&A about how the new law will increase your health security and what it means for you and your family.
On Thursday April 22 at 1pm ET: AARP and HHS discuss how reform will benefit Seniors. Submit your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes; it's geared towards seniors, but they're hardly the only ones with questions about what this all means for everyone in practical, real-life terms. Even if you don't submit a question, the chat should prove informative.
And I do hope everyone is availing themselves of the opportunity for public comments in crafting these regs. The 90-day window after the passage of HCR is up in late June. I have a feeling there will be lots of opportunities to comment. Visit this page often and run a search with "Open for Comment/Submission" checked and document type "proposed rules." Specify HHS as the agency (if you want - some of the other proposed rules are pretty darn interesting!) and just ignore everything else.