Condeluci, who served as tax counsel for the Senate Finance Committee when the healthcare reform law was being crafted, outlines possible three scenarios:
- President Obama is re-elected. "The law is not going anywhere. We may see some improvements here and there, which I think the administration recognizes needs to be done," he says.
- Mitt Romney is elected. While Romney is on record as supporting repeal, Condeluci notes that it's difficult to get things done inside the Beltway. "We could still say that the law won't be entirely repealed, maybe some sections would be repealed but probably not the entire law. There probably won't be a consensus even if Romney is in the White House."
- The healthcare industry speaks. Regardless of the election results, as 2014 nears, when much of PPACA goes into effect, the healthcare industry is likely to say at some point, "We don't want Congress to mess with this law because we've spent so much money to get our systems changed to comply with the law." The timing of that tipping point is critical. "Is it August 2013," asks Condeluci? "Is it January 2014, or is it earlier than that?"
While he expects the decision to be a topic of conversation for months to come, he says "The law is here to stay for the meantime. That means that the regulators will continue to push out regulations implementing the law and that stakeholders now have some sense of certainty on whether they need to comply with the law or not."
Condeluci notes that through the regulatory process, stakeholders will still have opportunities to influence the law to make it flexible for their needs.
Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.