As I watched the state-by-state results of the 2016 Presidential Election roll in, I realized that this, like all elections, was history in the making.
Americans passionately turned out in record-breaking numbers and stood in long lines to cast their vote in one of the most emotionally-charged and closest races in history. Whether you were a proponent of either, or neither, of the Presidential candidates it is clear that America has spoken.
Regardless of the final Presidential result, the fact of the matter is that getting things done in Washington will require a unity in thought and direction between the House, Senate, and the President. This applies to the future of healthcare and the Affordable Care Act.
Many employers ask me about the likelihood of a repeal of the Affordable Care Act with a Republican majority in Congress, as well as a Republican President-elect. The vastness of this law and the six years of implementation challenge any notion of an instant repeal. The process of creating and implementing a new law is much like building a home or a commercial building:
- The bill is the blueprint;
- The architects/lawmakers create the vision and layout some of the strategy;
- The House and Senate are the sponsors/owners approving the plans and appropriating the funds for the project;
- The assigned agencies/departments are the contractors implementing the plan and bringing it to life;
- The President is the general contractor with final say on what gets implemented and how
With six years in, we are far down the construction path, which makes significant modification to the structure and foundation much more difficult. All parties support some provisions and abhor others. Re-working a new blueprint that the House, Senate, and the President will support is critical. Financial considerations will also shape options and modifications. The Trump administration may decide on a complete tear down and rebuild, or take this on as a “fixer-upper” in a more strategic provisional approach.
Time will tell as we move toward this new Presidency in January. In the meantime, we have two more months of the 114th Congress and President Obama’s administration. It is unrealistic to think that there will be any sweeping changes at this time but, as usual, we will keep you abreast of any new developments.