A new front has opened in efforts to reshape how the federal government implements President Barack Obama's health-care overhaul now that the Supreme Court has ruled to keep the law in place.
Employers, insurers, hospitals, drug makers and others are angling for an advantage as the government writes the regulations and sets the policies that will bring the law to life, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Hospital owners want the government to reduce the $155 billion in health-care payment cuts they agreed to during negotiations over the law. Makers of medical devices hope to roll back a 2.3 percent tax on their sales contained in the measure. Insurance companies want more leeway to charge older people higher rates than younger ones. Drug makers are aiming at a provision that could squeeze how much Medicare pays for medicine.
"Let's face it, this law is going to be amended and adjusted for years and years to come," said Rick Pollack, executive vice president of the American Hospital Association, a lobbying group.
The White House gave lobbyists fresh hope that they can win changes to the law after Obama said Thursday he wanted to improve the overhaul. Although the legislation Obama signed in 2010 spells out most aspects of the law, federal officials can materially change it depending on how they write regulations to implement each provision.