The goal is "to have this program up and running within the next few months," she said. "We've already had many conversations with states about what the best way to provide health security for these people is—whether it's through a state pool that they design or through a larger federal pool that operates across state lines."
Ultimately, the states will choose which option is best for their residents, and "we're going to give them all the support they need to make that choice," she said. "This combination of partnership and being proactive is a model for how we hope to carry out this law."
Sebelius also noted that the federal government has a role in the transformation of the healthcare system—such as helping to measure and reward quality of care, creating incentives to drive changes in payment and delivery systems, and providing targeted resources to help empower consumers.
"But ultimately, this isn't about us. It's about giving Americans and their healthcare providers more choices and more control," she said.