For the new year and new decade I’ve relocated back to Washington DC to be more directly engaged with the implementation of health reform and related initiatives.
Packing, moving and unpacking took longer than expected - sort of like passing health reform legislation - and I apologize for my infrequent postings. Being back in more direct contact with policy makers, national advocates and others here in DC, I’ll be writing more frequently and in greater detail about the implications and expectations of health reform legislation, law(s), and implementation.
On the horizon is the development and passage of legislation combining the House and Senate health reform bills. The Conferees and Congressional staff certainly have some policy and political challenges in melding the two bills into one. Like most complex legislative initiatives, it is likely that action will be precipitated by Congressional recesses - the first one in 2010 is in mid-February. Since fast action wasn’t the guiding principle for getting health reform legislation this far, it is unlikely it will be brought to the President’s desk very soon. However, with both chambers having passed legislation it is very unlikely that they won’t bring it across the finish line - at which point the work will shift to the ginormous tasks of writing regulations and implementation. As always, make sure to wear your seat belts and keep your eyes on the road, but be on the lookout for erratic drivers.