States get more time to work on health care plans

FILE - In this March 23, 2010, file photo, President Barack Obama reaches for a pen to sign the health care bill in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Obama's re-election has guaranteed the survival of his health care law. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

FILE - In this March 23, 2010, file photo, President Barack Obama reaches for a pen to sign the health care bill in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Obama's re-election has guaranteed the survival of his health care law. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Many states are still on the fence about President Barack Obama's health care law. Now the administration says governors can have more time.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a letter to governors Friday that she still wants to hear by the end of next week if states will be setting up new health insurance markets under the law.

States that can't or won't set up these new insurance exchanges will have theirs run by Washington. But Sebelius said states can now take another month, until mid-December, to submit detailed blueprints.

And states considering a partnership with the federal government have until mid-February to make a decision and submit blueprints.

The administration is trying to show flexibility without slowing down its rollout of the law.


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