Obama Wins - Now what for "Obamacare"?

President Barack Obama's re-election victory eliminates the possibility of a wholesale repeal for his healthcare reform law. The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which has come to be known as "Obamacare" represents the biggest overhaul of the $2.8 trillion US healthcare system since the 1960s, aims to extend health coverage to more than 30 million uninsured Americans beginning in January 2014.

Obamacare will still faces challenges in Congress. Republicans who retained control of the House of Representatives are expected to press for healthcare reform concessions, including delaying and scaling back a planned expansion of the Medicaid program for the poor, during intense negotiations to cut the federal deficit that will begin later this month.  And there are still unanswered questions as to where the thousands of physicians needed to care for these patients will come from.

Major provisions of the Affordable Care Act call for cooperation from individual US states, including the Medicaid expansion and the introduction of subsidized health insurance exchanges for individuals to buy their own coverage. Governors and legislatures in as many as a half-dozen Republican-majority states oppose those plans and can refuse to act on them.

Clearly Obama's election victory is a step in this debate, but does not close the conversation.

Source: The Economic Times website