HHS is expected to begin to release the backlog of regulations. And the states will quickly face a Nov. 16 deadline to tell the Obama administration whether they’ll implement a health insurance exchange — a key part of the law about where consumers will purchase health insurance after 2014.
If Obama wins, that work is likely to continue through the early years of his second term. Democrats will want the law put in place as quickly as possible. They face a late 2013 deadline to have the exchanges ready to go.
And if Romney wins, the need to get the rules out may become even more urgent for Democrats. Any rules or regulations that are not final by Nov. 22 — 60 days before Romney would be sworn in — can be easily put on hold on Jan. 20.
That means the Obama administration would have a huge incentive to have as much of the health law as possible in “final” rule form within two weeks of a Romney victory. Rules and regulations that aren’t final can be more easily changed than those that are.