Healthcare reform will resurface in 2008, Thompson says

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Don't expect the federal government to make significant healthcare policy decisions for a while, says Tommy Thompson, the immediate past secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Even if the Democrats win back control of Congress in the upcoming elections, the federal government likely will not act on healthcare reform until 2008, Thompson said. Then, the issue will influence the presidential election, he added.

States likely will step in for a lack of federal action, Thompson said. At least 20 states likely would follow the lead of Massachusetts and pass laws requiring residents to purchase health insurance, he believes.