This post was written by Madhu Chugh. Ms. Chugh is a scholar at the O’Neill Institute at Georgetown University Law Center and an attorney at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP. The views expressed in this post are the author’s alone and do not reflect the views of WilmerHale or the O’Neill Institute.
Mitt Romney has promised that one of his first orders of business, if elected President, would be to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA), President Barack Obama’s signature health reform law enacted in March 2010. In order to repeal the ACA, a President Romney would need Congress’s cooperation. If Congress (perhaps the Senate in particular) refused to back repeal, the question would arise: What could a Romney Administration do, based solely on executive authority, to slow or undermine the implementation of the ACA? If elected, Mr. Romney would have a few options at his disposal to impede how the law is carried out. Commentators elsewhere have discussed how Mr. Romney could curtail implementation through rulemaking and other avenues. This post analyzes two other potential tools in a President’s arsenal—namely “waiving” state compliance with the ACA and defunding the programs created by the law. READ MORE »