Affordable Health Care Act, now that the election 2012 is over, billions of dollars spent, millions of 30 seconds TV ads, and tons of political commentators ramblings have now been muted for another four years, well at least 2. So the question today is where do we go from here with regards to Affordable Healthcare Act ?
The re-election of President Obama solidifies the full implementation of the Affordable Health Care Act. However, the makeup of the federal government remains the same, as it did a day ago. We have a democratic president, and a split congress.( No big change) The looming difference in the government that exists the day after the elections are the 35 republican governors that will be controlling states within the US comes 2013, additionally more than 50% of the states will be managed by a republican state legislature.
Why does that matter when it comes to the Affordable HealthCare Act ?
Ultimately the lawmakers in each state will be responsible for controlling how uninsured are covered through their state’s Medicaid services, Medicaid expansion, as well as deciding on how each private health insurance exchange is setup. As of this June when the Supreme court rule the law constitutional there were six states led by republican governors claiming they would not participate. These states included Texas, Florida, Mississippi, South Carolina, Louisiana, and Georgia.
Now at this point in time, we don’t know if these statements were made out of political posturing or if they were serious. However if all the other states get on board, and setup their exchanges for 2014, and these 6 state governors let the federal government dictates their exchange setup, its hard to imagine the residents of these states not pushing their governors to jump on board.
Why are States opposing the Affordable HealthCare Act?
Many officials from the six states listed above claimed that expanding the Medicaid program in their States would cause financial hardship if the government only covers 90% of the cost of new enrollees past 2016, before 2016 it will be at 100%. Alternately some state governors and legislatures claim they would consider the expansion only if they can modify the benefits, and eligibility requirements, which has been opposed by the Obama administration. It is worth mentioning that when Medicaid started in 1965, it took at least 5 years for all the state to have it, and by 1982 every stated had Medicaid. As with everything else within government it may take some time for everyone to jump onboard, but through potential consumer, hospital, and other provider pressures they may come around faster.
What’s Next with the Affordable Healthcare Act?
The next big deadline that looms a head regarding the implementation of the Affordable Health Care act is the submittal of a plan by each state on how they will setup their insurance exchanges set to go live October 2013. The plan is due 9 days from now on November 16 (update) If a state does not establish its own exchange the government will step in and setup an exchange for that state, taking that states control of the implementation out of that states hand, this hast the potential of providing less choices for consumers of that state. The Affordable Health Care Act requires the succesful setup of a health insurance exchange by each state. The governors that are holding back have some tough decisions to make now that president Obama has been re-elected, and the Affordable Healthcare Act is moving ahead with limited possibility of slowing down. Each State must decide if they are going to design and create their own state’s exchange and manage the options, legislation around it. Or let the government step in and run it for them.
As of yesterday only the states below, had either established their own exchange or planning for a partnering exchange system to support the state controlled portion of the law. Washington State, Oregon, California, Nevada, Kentucky, Utah, Colorado, Illinois, Arkansas, Kentucky, New York, Connecticut, Nevada, Vermont, Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Hawaii, West Virginia, and Washington DC
Affordable Healthcare act is politically charged issue and topic.The next few months will be interesting to watch as the dust settles within our government. On one good note the elections are over, and we don’t have to watch any more political ads.