The Supreme Court's ruling last month on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act hasn't left a smooth road ahead, two former members of Congress now with DLA Piper said Wednesday.
Speaking at a panel discussion at the firm, former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and ex-Rep. Michael Castle (R-Del.) said the work on the health care law didn't end on June 28, when the Court largely upheld the statute on a 5-4 vote. Obstacles remain.
"There's a lot still to be done," said Castle, a DLA Piper partner. "There is some clarification by the Supreme Court…but there's also a lot of questions that are still out there that need to be answered."
Daschle, a DLA Piper senior policy adviser, said he isn't too concerned about efforts by the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal the statute. He said he is more worried about health care budget matters that Congress likely will address in the fall.
"They will have huge health implications," Daschle said.
As for federal regulators, the former senator said they will have to work out how they will handle health care reforms concerning insurance, payment and delivery. And states will face several challenges, including whether they should expand Medicaid, which provides health insurance to the poor and disabled, he said. The winner of the presidential election in November also will have "a lot to say" about the future of the law, Daschle added.
"I think this is the most transformational time we've ever seen in health care," Daschle said. "And that transformation is going to continue with all the bumps and all the uncertainty that is still associated with the transformation itself."