What Will The Election's Outcome Mean For The Health Law?

The stakes are high for the health law's future with the vote either sealing the measure's implementation or becoming its undoing. However, some of the changes it includes have already been internalized by the health care marketplace.  

Kaiser Health News: Election Will Decide Health Law's Future
The highest court in the country upheld most of the Affordable Care Act in June. But everybody knew it was only an overture. The law 'will fall in November by a vote of the American people,' Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant pledged that day, speaking for many other Republicans. Democrats were more reluctant to paint the election as a referendum on what even they came to call 'Obamacare.' But privately they admitted the stakes (Hancock, 11/5).

Kaiser Health News: Employers Expected To Keep Some Of Health Law's Popular Provisions, Even If Obama Loses
Employers will continue looking for ways to cap expenses, moving toward higher deductible policies, or placing limits on how much they pay toward their workers' premiums -- both trends that predate the federal health law, analysts say (Appleby,11/5).

Los Angeles Times: Wall Street May Rally Regardless Of Presidential Election Winner
If nothing else, the end of the grueling presidential campaign will bring a long-awaited dose of certainty to the stock market. Given the divergent economic and fiscal policies of President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, investors have strained for months to divine who will win and how they should position their portfolios. … A second Obama term, for example, could boost shares of technology and alternative-energy companies. It also could help industries as varied as home builders, hospitals, fast-food chains and aluminum makers, analysts say. A Romney victory, by contrast, could lift financial-services firms, coal and other energy producers, high-end retailers and restaurants and dividend-paying companies. … Meanwhile, health care companies and their investors have been watching the campaign closely in light of Romney's repeated vow to repeal Obama's signature law, the Affordable Care Act. The federal health care overhaul imposes new rules on insurers and cuts reimbursements for many hospitals. But some experts think the net effect could be positive for many health care companies because the law expands coverage to an estimated 30 million Americans and requires most people to purchase health insurance (Hamilton, Terhune and Reckard, 11/6).

Kaiser Health News: Health Care Stakes Are High In California
More than any other state, California has wagered heavily on the Affordable Care Act: It has moved quickly to erect an insurance exchange and establish the high risk pool. It's also codified federal consumer protections into state law. In 2010, the state signed a $10 billion Medicaid waiver with the Obama administration that has allowed counties here -- from Democratic Los Angeles to Republican San Diego -- to enroll as many as 500,000 low-income adults into a 'Medicaid-lite' program years ahead of the law’s expansion of the federal-state program for the poor. Similar to the high risk pool, 'Medicaid-lite,' which is officially called the Low Income Health Plan, is envisaged as a temporary measure until January 2014. That’s when California would open up its Medicaid program to millions of poor people, an expansion paid for largely by the federal government (Varney, 11/5).

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