2012 election inspection: Obama re-elected, ACA on all state horizons


A close race crowned its returning champion -- as such, Barack Obama will retain his title as President of the United States for four more years.

[See also: ACA lives on with Obama's re-election, but states hold sway on insurance coverage]

Figure 1: 2012 Election Results

Images were adapted by PhysBizTech from the works of Pete Souza (Barack Obama), Austen Hufford (Mitt Romney), and Jamesdisher (American Flag). All images were made available for use through Creative Commons licensing.

[See also: What the presidential election could mean for health IT]

President Obama was able to wrangle important swing states, such as Ohio, Virginia and Colorado, from the side of his opponent, Republican Party nominee Mitt Romney, as well as secure most of each coast in his favor. With the Romney campaign conceding Florida to Obama on Nov. 8, the total electoral vote count rests at 332 and 206, favoring Obama. President Obama also clinched the popular vote, with 50.5 percent of votes (61,206,301 total votes thus far) over Romney’s 48 percent (58,193,213 total votes thus far).

Figure 2: Breaking down the nation

Map prepared by PhysBizTech. Information from the Huffington Post campaign watch.

And although Obama’s re-election allows the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to continue forward without imminent leadership termination, state responses to ACA have yet to be accounted for in full. Many state leaders chose to hold off on chartering their intentions for ACA until after the election, unsure if the healthcare reform package would survive. Given Obama’s second success, all states will have to reveal their plans for ACA by Nov. 16.

Of course, some states have already taken action regarding initial ACA market reforms. An ACA implementation monitoring and tracking report produced for the Urban Institute by researchers at Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute, showcased the actions of 10 states proactively considering ACA in September 2012. (Refer to Figure 3 below for a brief description of the state plans examined in the report.) “All states reported that regulators were reviewing policy forms or requiring insurers to certify that policy forms are in compliance with the early market reforms,” the report said.

Figure 3: Pro-ACA-action

 

Graphic prepared by PhysBizTech. Information from the Urban Institute report “Cross-Cutting Issues: Monitoring State Implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 10 States: Early Market Reforms.”

Physician organizations were quick to congratulate Obama on his re-election, but were adamant still about the need for more amendments to current policies.

"The AMA congratulates President Obama on winning re-election as the President of the United States. This is a critically important time for our health care system, and America's physicians remain at the forefront of policy discussions, working with President Obama, members of Congress and the administration to focus on the important task of improving both the delivery of health care and the health of our nation,” Jeremy A. Lazarus, MD,
 president of American Medical Association, wrote in a release.

Jeffrey Cain, MD, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, shared a similar message: “The American Academy of Family Physicians looks forward to working with President Barack Obama and the new Congress to ensure that everyone in this country can get the right healthcare at the right time from the right professional,” Cain wrote in an AAFP release. “That means continuing to work for access to both healthcare coverage and to the primary care physicians who should be the front door to our healthcare system. We call on President Obama and Congress to work together to ensure that all Americans have access to healthcare. We call on the president and Congress to implement a permanent fix to the flawed Medicare physician payment formula that rewards volume over quality and that discourages growth of the primary care physician workforce. We call on the president and Congress to support medical education policies that fill the primary care physician pipeline and enable Americans to have a personal physician who provides comprehensive, whole-person care. And we call on President Obama and Congress to pass legislation that provides meaningful medical liability reform that would allow physicians the ability to afford to continue to provide care for all Americans.”

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