The Obama Administration does not appear ready to re-open the health care reform debate any time soon. Having paid the political price for focusing on health care reform instead of job creation during his first two years in office, President Obama appears to understand that it’s still “the economy, stupid.” It will be up to the Republicans to bring to the table alternatives to the Affordable Care Act of 2010.
Straight out repeal of the Affordable Care Act is a non-starter. Democrats have already defeated repeal in the Senate without even having to resort to a filibuster. So which part of the health care law do you think the Republicans will start to dismantle first? Perhaps they will repeal the provision prohibiting insurance companies from dropping your coverage when you get sick, or dependent coverage for your children under age 26, or new rules that prohibit individual plans from denying or excluding coverage for any child under age 19 based on pre-existing health conditions, including babies born with health problems.
Or maybe they will eliminate the provision in the law that in 2011 provides a 50 percent discount for seniors when buying Medicare Part-D covered brand-name prescription drugs once seniors reach the Medicare coverage gap known as the “donut hole”. I don’t think so.
The further we go down the path toward fully implementing the Affordable Car Act, the more difficulty the Republicans will likely have in repealing this landmark legislation. In 2014, the Affordable Care Act can be expected to deliver real health insurance choices through a regulated market with tax breaks and subsidies for millions of American small businesses and families.