Romney’s Bid to Undo Health Law Faces Hurdles

An analysis in the Washington Times finds that if Mitt Romney wins the White House, he’s more likely to set up roadblocks to President Obama’s health care law than to wipe it off the books or even block it by issuing waivers, as he’s promised.

For one thing, Republicans have little chance of seizing enough Senate seats for the filibuster-proof, 60-seat majority. Romney would need to repeal the entire Affordable Care Act. Republicans do have a shot at gaining a simple majority in the Senate, which could allow them to ditch most of the law through the budget-reconciliation process, which is one of the few legislative vehicles that can’t be blocked by a filibuster.

He could rewrite some of the rules the Obama administration has already handed down, like changing the list of preventive services insurance plans must cover without co-pays including contraception. Sylvia Law, a health law professor at New York University told the Washington Times, “Romney could undo that in a flash. He could just say, ‘Sorry, contraception is a lifestyle choice, and insurance companies don’t have to cover it.’” GOP vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan said, “When Mitt Romney is president, this mandate will be gone. That’s a fact.”

Romney has vowed to issue an executive order his first day in office waiving states from having to comply with the rules for the federally mandated health exchanges, but his legal authority to do so is questionable. The law doesn’t allow such waivers to be granted until 2017, but some lawmakers have introduced legislation to move that date up earlier.

And then there’s the option of simply directing his administration to procrastinate on putting the legislation into effect. An obvious target could be the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a new board charged with reducing Medicare costs, but which Republicans complain will cut payments to doctors. “Those folks have not been appointed [to the board]. He could just decline to implement it, and it would be very hard to challenge,” Law said.Other presidents have done the same thing with laws they didn’t like, said Roderick Hills, a constitutional law professor at New York University.

The Candidate’s Views on Health Care

Regardless of who wins the 2012 Presidential race, many Americans don’t see our healthcare system getting better anytime soon, no matter who is voted into office, according to The TeleVox Healthy World Report. Though Romney has declared to repeal and replace Obamacare, the two candidates don’t always differ on healthcare platforms when it comes to outcome and performance incentives for hospitals and doctors, according to political analyst Doug McPherson.  Under Obamacare, hospitals get rewards or penalties based on their ability to meet standards of high-quality care. Romney would not repeal this aspect because he also believes in rewarding hospitals based on outcomes. President Obama is an advocate for electronic medical record systems and Romney also believes information technology will improve healthcare delivery. To download the study, visit http://na03.mypinpointe.com/link.php?M=22218462&N=14574&L=8859&F=T

Romney and Obama Seen As Even in Dealing With Healthcare

Mitt Romney no longer trails Barack Obama in the Pew Research Center’s presidential election polling. By about three-to-one, voters say Romney did a better job than Obama in the Oct. 3 debate, and the Republican is now better regarded on most personal dimensions and on most issues than he was in September. Romney is seen as the candidate who has new ideas and is viewed as better able than Obama to improve the jobs situation and reduce the budget deficit.

Romney and Obama now run about even on dealing with health care, Medicare, foreign policy, and taxes. Obama led on most of these issues by significant margins in September. Romney also holds a significant 49% to 41% advantage on improving the job situation, despite the fact that most of the interviewing was conducted after the October jobs report, which showed the unemployment rate falling below 8%. For more information, visit

http://www.people-press.org/files/2011/01/UnderstandingLikelyVoters.pdf.

 

How the Obama and Romney Health Plans Stack Up

The following is a summary of a report by the Commonwealth Fund

With the U.S. presidential election just weeks away, health care is in the spotlight. President Obama and Governor Romney have proposed distinctly different approaches to health care problems. If reelected, the president has pledged to continue implementing the Affordable Care Act with major provisions are to be rolled out in the next 15 months. President Obama supports the goal of near-universal health insurance coverage by maintaining existing private insurance markets while instituting tighter and more standardized regulations. In addition, federal tax credits would make individually purchased health plans more affordable. The Medicaid program would cover more families with low or moderate incomes.

To contain growth in health care costs and improve the quality of care, Obama supports the health law’s reforms that target how insurance markets operate, how providers are paid, and how care is delivered.

Governor Romney says that more limited regulation would ensure that consumers have a broad choice of health plans. To encourage more people to buy health plans in the individual market, he would make the tax treatment of individually purchased coverage similar to what is accorded to employer-based plans.

Romney would reduce federal funding to Medicaid by establishing state block grants and loosening federal requirements. He would scale back the federal/state public insurance program substantially for people with low incomes.

Romney wants to drive down health care costs by providing fixed budgets and looser standards to state Medicaid programs, on the theory that doing so will allow states to innovate and save money.

Romney would introduce competition between private plans and traditional Medicare by giving premium support to beneficiaries to buy the plan they choose. If such competition fails to bring down costs, he would also place limits on annual spending, starting in 2023. To get the full report, visitwww.commonwealthfund.com.

Last Updated 08/10/2022

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