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Obama or Romney: How 2012 Elections Will Impact Exchanges

Karen Minich-Pourshadi, for HealthLeaders Media, November 5, 2012

Elections are just a day away, and the results will have a huge impact on the future of U.S. healthcare. But whether President Barack Obama remains or former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is elevated to our nation's highest office isn't the only race that healthcare CFOs need to watch. The Senate races will also influence the policies adopted and enforced in the coming years.

The fate of health insurance exchanges (HIX) is particularly dependent on which party controls the Senate. I spoke with a health and public policy expert to find out how the Presidential and Senate elections could impact HIX.

"Exchanges are like a Travelocity for health insurance, and aren't political except that it is a feature of 'Obamacare.' The exchanges concept wasn't a politically partisan one, though. It's found in Romney's Massachusetts plan too," says Dick Cowart, chair of the health and public policy department at the Baker Donelson law firm.

Healthcare executives are more supportive than suspicious of HIX, according to our HealthLeaders Media annual industry survey. Just under half of the 823 leaders in the survey say they view HIX as an opportunity, while 19% see exchanges as a threat.

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