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Obama Wins Re-Election; House and Senate Remain Divided

November 7, 2012 – Barrack Obama won the presidential election with President Obama winning 50 percent of Colorado’s vote to Mitt Romney’s 48 percent. According to the Denver Post, Obama won Colorado’s two most critical “swing areas” of Jefferson and Arapahoe counties by 4 to 6 percentage points.

While Obama won by a fairly wide margin of 303 to 206 in the electoral college, his victory over Romney had a narrower margin of under 3 million popular votes.

President Obama’s re-election should effectively neutralize efforts to overturn the Affordable Care Act, which is better known as ObamaCare.  The Affordable Care Act is a health care reform law passed in 2010 and a hotly debated issue in the campaign that Mitt Romney had vowed to overturn.

While its safe to say that the Affordable Healthcare Act will go into full effect on January 1st, 2014, it’s entirely possible that the ACA’s subsidies may be scaled back as pressure mounts to reduce the federal deficit.

Health Insurance Industry Leaders React

Karen Ignagni, President of America’s Health Insurance Plans said, “As the healthcare reform law is implemented, policymakers must prioritize affordability for consumers and employers. Several provisions in the law, such as the new premium tax, minimum coverage requirements, and age rating restrictions, need to be addressed to keep coverage as affordable as possible and ensure broad participation in the system. The nation must also address the soaring cost of medical care that is driving up the cost of coverage, taking up a greater share of federal and state budgets, and threatening the long-term solvency of our nation’s public safety net programs.”

More National Election News

Democrats kept a narrow majority in the Senate, as Republicans failed to gain the four seats to tip the 53-47 balance.  Republicans kept control of the House, leaving Democrats well short of the net gain of 25 seats they needed to take control.

President Obama faces daunting political challenges as he must navigate a highly polarized political system. Congress has an approval rating of 11 percent and is considered by some to be the least productive since the Civil War era.

The major challenge for any president is to build a consensus in the country and not just in Washington,” said Ken Duberstein, chief of staff for President Ronald Reagan.  “You have to build coalitions to win,” Duberstein said. “Every presidency ultimately goes into a ditch, somehow and for some reason, and you have to have not only the people’s trust but the members of Congress know you and trust you. That has not yet developed.”

Local Election News

In local news, Colorado Democrats retained control of the House and regained control of the Senate. In the Senate, 18 seats makes a majority, and Democrats now hold a 20-15 advantage. As the final votes are still being tabulated, Democrats now have 36 to 38 seats in the Senate, whereas the Republicans once held a narrow 33-32 majority.

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