Election 2012: What do we know about the fate of health reform?

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.”

Barack ObamaPresident 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.

Joanne Kenen (@JoanneKenen) is AHCJ’s health reform topic leader. If you have questions or suggestions for future resources, please send them to joanne@healthjournalism.org.

AHCJ Webcast

What does the election mean for senior health?

Tune in Thursday, Nov. 8, at 1 p.m. ET.

Now we need to make sense of the election’s results for our readers, viewers and listeners.

This AHCJ webcast will examine one big piece of the puzzle: what this election’s outcome means for seniors on Medicare, older adults who receive long-term care services from Medicaid and other programs that serve our elderly population.

A blue ribbon panel of experts will offer their thoughts and analysis during this event. Join us for a lively discussion and ask the questions that matter to you and your audience. The experts are:

  • Joseph Antos, Wilson H. Taylor Scholar in Health Care and Retirement Policy, American Enterprise Institute
  • Karen Davis, president, The Commonwealth Fund
  • John Rother, president and chief executive officer, National Coalition on Health Care
  • Moderator: Judith Graham, health care journalist and AHCJ topic leader on aging

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  1. Pingback: Post-election: What aspects of health reform are reporters focused on? : Covering Health

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