Health Law Viewed As A Big Winner On Election Day

Barack Obama

Barack Obama (Photo credit: jamesomalley)

Topics: Health Costs, Medicare, Politics, Medicaid, Health Reform

Nov 07, 2012

President Barack Obama’s re-election is viewed as a “reprieve” for the health law, but this development raises questions and issues about some of the implementation challenges that the overhaul will now face.

Kaiser Health News: President’s Win Is Reprieve For ‘Obamacare’
President Barack Obama’s victory cements the Affordable Care Act, expanding coverage to millions but leaving weighty questions about how to pay for it and other care to be delivered to an increasingly unhealthy, aging population. … Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney had promised to repeal the act and replace it with something that would loosen government’s involvement in health care. Conservatives portrayed the law’s survival as limiting the freedom of patient and doctor and adding to a federal debt that recently exceeded $16 trillion (Hancock, 11/7).

Politico: Obamacare Survives — Now What?
It has now survived two near-death experiences. The Supreme Court could have struck the law down, but it didn’t. And with Barack Obama in the White House for another four years, it’s not going to get repealed — or even gutted. Now it has to work. If it does, more Americans might come to accept it — and even be glad it passed. If it doesn’t, Obama’s legacy will be tarnished. And Republicans will say “we told you so” for years to come (Nather, 11/7).

Reuters: Obama Win Clears Health Care Reform Hurdle Challenges Remain
President Barack Obama’s re-election victory eliminates the possibility of a wholesale repeal for his health care reform law, but still leaves questions about how much of his signature domestic policy achievement will be implemented as the national political focus shifts to the debt and deficit. The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which represents the biggest overhaul of the $2.8 trillion U.S. health care system since the 1960s, aims to extend health coverage to more than 30 million uninsured Americans beginning in January 2014 (Morgan and Yukhananov, 11/7).

NBC News: One Big Winner In Tuesday’s Vote: Health Reform
One of the biggest winners Tuesday night was health reform. Now that President Barack Obama has won a second term and kept a Democratic majority in the Senate to back him up, Republicans have lost any chance at repealing his biggest domestic initiative. “Health reform goes ahead,” Timothy Jost, an expert on health law at Washington and Lee University, told NBC news. “It has survived two near-death experiences, with the Supreme Court decision (in June) and now with the election. Now it is time to move forward.” Republican analysts agree (Fox, 11/7).

Bloomberg: Obama Win Means Health Overhaul to Move Ahead in States
President Barack Obama’s re-election means his overhaul of the U.S. health-care system, opposed by most Republicans, will move ahead in all 50 states, with or without the cooperation of their governors. State officials who held off implementing some aspects of the 2010 Affordable Care Act now face pressure to make decisions almost immediately. They have nine days to advise the federal government how they plan to manage state-run exchanges created by the law to provide medical coverage to the uninsured, or face a de facto U.S. takeover of their insurance markets (Wayne, 11/7).

NBC News: Now That He’s Won, The Six Splitting Headaches Waiting For Obama
As President Barack Obama celebrates his election night victory, he faces a second term that presents both immediate and longer-term challenges, some with deadlines that must be confronted in the seven weeks before New Years’ Eve. … The administrative mechanism to carry out “Obamacare” needs to be designed, refined and run. Congressional Republicans are especially hostile to the Independent Payment Advisory Board, an outside body of experts, picked by the president, which is supposed to propose cuts in Medicare spending, with those cuts getting special fast-track consideration in Congress. So far Obama has appointed none of IPAB’s 15 members. Those nominees will be subject to Senate confirmation (Curry, 11/7).

Modern Healthcare: Obama Win Seen As Victory For Health Care Reform
President Barack Obama’s victory serves as a vindication for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, industry experts said soon after the president won re-election Tuesday. The election also produced a Congress that will continue the existing split in control between the two parties. Democrats were projected by the Associated Press to maintain their Senate majority and the Republicans to maintain control of the House of Representatives. While Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill might continue trying to chip away at the law in pieces, they won’t be successful in overturning the statute in its entirety, said Eric Zimmerman, a partner with McDermott Will and Emery in Washington (Zigmond and Daly, 11/7).

Medscape: Obama Edges Out Romney To Win Reelection
Voters tonight reelected President Barack Obama by a narrow margin, giving the Democrat 4 more years to implement the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the face of continued opposition by Congressional Republicans. …  A poll conducted by Reuters/Ipsos November 2 showed that 42 percent of probable voters thought Obama had a better plan on health care compared with 39 percent who favored Romney. Likewise, Obama held a 42 percent to 35 percent edge over Romney when it came to public confidence in their plans for Medicare. However, Romney bested Obama on those issues among seniors, who said they preferred the Republican as president. The same patterns on health care issues emerged in a tracking poll conducted last month by the Kaiser Family Foundation, which pointed to an additional Obama advantage: 51 percent of Americans trusted the president to make decisions about women’s reproductive health choices and services. Romney’s support level on this issue was only 33 percent (Lowes, 11/7).

The Medicare NewsGroup: Obama Wins Second Term, Thanks In Part To Medicare Promise
But make no mistake about it: President Obama has endorsed a slower but steady shift that could indeed change the program dramatically and qualify as Medicare reform in its own right. Another term for Obama means another four years over which key Medicare provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will be implemented. And many of those provisions pave the way for the current fee-for-service Medicare reimbursement system to be replaced with pay-for-performance. Medicare is at a financial crossroads, and if Obama’s vision for the program can achieve savings dramatic enough, it could put the nation’s fastest growing entitlement program on a much more solid road to sustainability. Through the ACA and his fiscal year 2013 budget, Obama has articulated a Medicare reform plan that focuses on getting the biggest bang possible for the government’s buck (Szot, 11/6).

This is part of Kaiser Health News’ Daily Report – a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.


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