November 12th, 2012 – President Obama’s re-election cemented the fate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare. It’s here to stay, at least for the next few years. The election effectively put an end to the Republican campaign to derail the law.
“It’s all over but the shouting,” said Families USA Executive Director Ron Pollack, a consumer advocate and leading champion of the law. “What was very questionable at the start of the year has been settled. … The Affordable Care Act will be a permanent fixture of the American healthcare system.”
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.
Also, regulators at the state level will have a huge influence over how the ACA is implemented. State regulators will do their best to deliver a competitive product that encourages access to guarantee issue health insurance, starting on January 1st, 2014.
However, if health insurance premiums continue to rise, at some point the public will cry out for additional reforms to control the underlying healthcare costs that keep driving up premium inflation.
Forward thinking states like Colorado are in good shape as they’ve already begun work on the Health Insurance Exchange, scheduled to “go live” for policies starting on January 1st, 2014. Other states that took more of a “wait and see” approach will be scrambling to catch up or will have to use the federal government’s system.