Oldaker and Lutes speculated that many aspects of the PPACA could become pawns in the budgetary negotiation process during the current lame-duck session. While House Republicans want to avoid the defense cuts that are lined up if sequestration takes effect, the Democrats would like to avoid domestic spending cuts and bring in some "upper-income revenue to the party," Lutes says.
"For me, the $99 question is: What are the chances that the lame-duck deal will affect ACA funds, such as the funds slated for Medicaid expansion or the funds for the [health insurance] exchange enrollment subsidies?" questioned Lutes.
Democrats will seek to protect these funds, Oldaker said. "They are down at the bottom of the list that the administration will agree to, but they'll be on the list that the Republicans put forward. The President will try to protect both the exchanges and Medicaid expansion as much as possible."
With such a tight popular vote for the Presidential election, Oldaker believes we can expect to see President Obama more willing to work with Republicans and "in the mood to negotiate" to get bipartisan support to resolve the fiscal cliff before it transpires.
"The day after the election, [House] Speaker [John] Boehner [R-OH] fired the starting gun on this race ... saying he was ready to work with the President to resolve the fiscal cliff but that ‘real change to the structure of entitlement programs' needs to be a part of the solution, along with spending cuts and revenue increases from tax reform," said Lutes.