Health reform implementation

HHS head says he will uphold ObamaCare as law

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The top federal health official on Wednesday said he will uphold ObamaCare as long as it remains the law.

In response to a question about a controversial plan in Idaho to allow insurers to sell plans that don’t meet ObamaCare requirements, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told a congressional panel that he has a responsibility to enforce the law.


“I’m not aware that our opinions or views have been solicited,” Azar said. “There are rules, and there’s a rule of law that we need to enforce.”

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter (R) recently signed an executive order allowing insurers to sell plans on the individual market that don’t comply with ObamaCare’s rules and protections.

The proposal is legally questionable and has drawn backlash from Democrats who say he is simply ignoring federal law. They have been pressuring Azar to step in to stop Idaho’s plan and enforce the law.

On Wednesday, Blue Cross of Idaho announced it would be the first insurer to sell such plans.

The insurer says the plans would “bring more choices and lower prices to consumers.”

“The current marketplace is not affordable for middle-class families,” Charlene Maher, CEO of Blue Cross of Idaho, said in a statement. “Our new state-based plans are a response to Governor Otter’s executive order, which begins to solve the issues that have kept middle-class Idahoans from buying health insurance. Our Freedom Blue plans bring more choices and lower prices to consumers.”

Tags Alex Azar Health care Health insurance HHS Idaho ObamaCare
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