Sebelius: ‘We Intend to Fully Implement’ Obamacare

March 10, 2011 - 11:33 AM

Kathleen Sebelius

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius speaks to reporters at HHS headquarters in Washington on July 1, 2010. (CNSNews.com/Penny Starr)

Arlington, Va. (CNSNews.com) – Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius underscored Wednesday that the Obama administration intends to fully implement Obamacare.

CNSNews.com asked Sebelius: “If Florida District Judge Vinson lifts his stay on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, will you and the administration obey the judge’s ruling and cease and desist implementing all aspects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act?”

 Sebelius did not directly answer the question, saying: “Well, Judge Vinson, as you know, just issued a stay on his own orders so we intend to fully implement the Act.”

On Jan. 31, U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson in Pensacola, Fla., found the law to be unconstitutional, and struck it down in its entirety, because, he ruled, the unconstitutional requirement to purchase health insurance could not be separated from the remainder of the law.

Vinson ordered the administration not to enforce the law. Several of the 26 states who had filed the lawsuit stopped any further state actions to comply with the new law.

The administration, however, made no effort to stop its efforts to implement Obamacare, instead filing a motion asking for the judge to “clarify” his ruling.

Vinson issued a stay on Mar. 3, in which he allowed the administration to continue to enforce the law if it filed an appeal on his original ruling within seven calendar days (by Thursday, March 10) , and the appeal be made directly to the U.S. Supreme Court. Otherwise, the judge pledged to lift his stay.

In issuing his stay, the judge wrote that he had not expected that the administration “would effectively ignore the order and declaratory judgment for two and one-half weeks, continue to implement the act, and only then file a belated motion to ‘clarify.’”

On Wednesday, March 9, the Justice Department filed its expedited appeal to the Supreme Court. Sebelius made her comment to CNSNews.com before the Justice Department appeal was announced.

CNSNews.com caught up with Sebelius after she gave the keynote address at the National Parent Teacher Association Legislative Conference. Sebelius is a former PTA president of Topeka, Kan., and received an Honorary Lifetime Award from the Kansas PTA.