by James A. Woehlke, Esq., CPA, MBL Benefits Consulting COO / General Counsel
With ballots still being counted in some districts, political analysts already declare that the Republicans, nearly all of whom ran in opposition to the Affordable Care Act, have taken control of the House of Representatives but not the Senate.
Still Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell promised to pass a wholesale repeal of the ACA and, if unsuccessful, to repeal the law part by part. If repeal is vetoed, McConnell indicated that health care regulatory efforts will be de-funded. For his part, at his press conference on November 3, President Obama indicated a willingness to look at ACA changes proposed by the Republicans.
Analysts have begun to scrutinize the election’s impact on health care reform. As a practical matter, outright repeal is unlikely with the Republicans having a mere majority in the House and a minority in the Senate. Even if some Senators cross the aisle in the Senate to join the Republicans on a repeal vote, neither house boasts the two-thirds supermajority needed to override a presidential veto.
The type of bill which theoretically could become law is one that both parties agree would make needed technical adjustments to the ACA and perhaps changes deemed most troublesome by the electorate.
U.S. Constitution, Article I, section 7, clause 2, http://www.house.gov/house/Constitution/Constitution.html
Text of November 3, 2010 White House Press Conference: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2010/11/03/press-conference-president
From ABC News: K. Carollo, “Will Health Care Overhaul Survive Republican Control of the House?”, http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Health_Care/2010-vote-elections-health-care-overhaul-survive/story?id=12045125&page=1
From CNN: “Boehner says Obama health plan on the block after GOP wins”, http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/11/03/election.main/index.html
From FOX News: “Senate GOP Leader Takes Aim at Health Law”, http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/11/04/senate-gop-leader-takes-aim-health-law/ and http://video.foxnews.com/v/4402016/mitch-mcconnell-on-gop-gains-in-the-senate?playlist_id=86918