How HHS Rolled Out Obamacare Amid the Shutdown

taweesak thiprod/Shutterstock.com

The long-awaited debut of the Affordable Care Act was facing enough obstacles without a government shutdown tossed in the mix. But the insurance exchanges just launched by states and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services appear to be affected far more by a deluge of online traffic and software glitches than by absent employees.

That’s because, while the Health and Human Services Department as a whole has furloughed 40,000 of 78,000 total employees, most staffers working to implement the health care law are paid through mandatory spending. That assures, the HHS shutdown staffing plan notes, continued “coordination between Medicaid and the Marketplace, as well as insurance rate reviews, and assessment of a portion of insurance premiums that are used on medical services.”

Here’s how an HHS spokesman explained it to Government Executive:

Since many of the core parts of the health law are funded through mandatory appropriations, the ACA is up and running. The current funding lapse does not impact the core of what we are doing. Spending for the Marketplace advance premium tax credit is mandatory spending, just like Medicare payments, and therefore the Marketplace launch will continue to ensure that Americans have access to the coverage to which they are entitled under the Affordable Care Act. Contracts associated with both the federal and state Marketplaces will also remain in place and the contractors' work will move forward in support of ACA implementation. Some of these contracts are funded with mandatory dollars, and others are supported by sources that are not impacted by the lapse in appropriations.

(Image via taweesak thiprod/Shutterstock.com)

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.