Joanne Kenen, AHCJ’s health reform topic leader, earlier discussed five potential outcomes of the election. Given what we now know about the results, here is Kenen’s wisdom on what to expect in terms of “Obamacare.”
President Obama has won re-election; the Senate remains Democratic and the House remains Republican.
Obamacare survives. It will be implemented in 2014 – probably not without bumps and challenges, so you will have plenty to write about. But the fighting won’t be over.
There are at least two legal challenges to the law out there (not counting the lawsuits over contraception policy – but that’s a peripheral issue and wouldn’t bring down the whole law). Republicans, as this CQ/Roll Call story suggests, won’t just drop their argument that people can’t get subsidies through federal exchanges (in states that don’t run their own exchanges).
The Affordable Care Act will get tied into all the fighting to come over the fiscal cliff, entitlement reform, tax reform, the sequester and of course that looming debt ceiling limit. There are many ways that the GOP could still try to weaken or dismantle parts of the health law, including attempts to delay it, repeal specific pieces of it, or roll back some of the subsidies. But repeal is off the table.
My Oct. 26 story is behind a paywall. Julie Rovner at NPR also took a look at this. Mary Agnes Carey at Kaiser Health News looked at how various pieces of the law could change under different scenarios.