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Public Statements

The Half-Baked Federal Health Exchanges

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. BURGESS. Mr. Speaker, it was 3 years ago tomorrow night that the President's affordable health care law, or bill, was pushed through this House of Representatives.

On Friday, in CQ Healthbeat, an article was published where the Department of Health and Human Services acknowledges that come October 1 there is ``some possibility'' that States will not be able to launch their health care exchanges.

Mr. Speaker, we're 6 months away, and the insurance exchanges are the very centerpiece of the functioning of this health care law, and they're essential for the President's law to operate.

The Federal Government has spent 3 years, well over $3 billion, assisting the States in implementing these exchanges; but the administration is now left only with the hope that it is ``not a Third World experience.'' A Third World experience.

It doesn't end there. Henry Chao, a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services official overseeing the exchange technology, said in the same article when discussing back-up plans should the exchanges not be operable come October, ``We are having discussions, but they are not fully baked yet.''

October is just around the corner. ``Not fully baked yet'' doesn't even sound like it's in the oven.

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