My Mintz Levin colleague, Stephen Bentfield, and Alex Hecht of ML Strategies provide their perspective on the future direction of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) during President Obama’s second term in a Law360 article entitled What Obama’s Re-Election Means for Health Care Policy. Among other points, they stress that ongoing ACA implementation must be considered in the broader context of the looming “fiscal cliff” that will hit on January 2, 2013. Congress and the Obama administration’s failure to reach agreement by that date on either a short-term delay to the sequestration process and the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts, or a long-term, comprehensive budget deal risks reversing the gradual economic recovery that has transpired in recent months.
Between now and the inauguration, the Obama administration will press ahead with issuing regulations implementing key ACA components while states will make their final election regarding implementation of health insurance exchanges. Meanwhile, Congress will spend the time between now and the holidays pursuing a legislative solution to back away from the January 2, 2013 fiscal cliff. Looking beyond President Obama’s inauguration to a second term, with many core ACA provisions going into effect in the next few years, 2013 will bring a host of new regulations and guidance implementing, among other things, the individual mandate, subsidies for private insurance premiums, and the (now elective) expansion of state Medicaid programs. ML Strategies and Mintz Levin will be actively monitoring these developments, so please check back regularly for further updates.