Obama re-elected as US President – what does this mean for healthcare?

Hannah Blake

pharmaphorum

Barack Obama’s vision to overhaul the US healthcare system was opposed by many, but his victory last night in becoming re-elected as the President of the United States secures access to healthcare insurance for over 30 million uninsured Americans. This is because Obama’s victory eliminates the possibility of repeal against the law, which his opposition, Mitt Romney, promised to do on day one if elected.

In March 2010, Obama signed The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). State officials who held off from implementing some aspects of this act before the election now have nine days to advise the federal government on how they plan to manage state-run exchanges created by the law to provide medical coverage to the uninsured. The aim is to get this act up and running by January 2014.

“Health reform goes ahead.

“It has survived two near-death experiences, with the Supreme Court decision (in June) and now with the election. Now it is time to move forward.”

Timothy Jost, an expert on health law at Washington and Lee University.

The overhaul of USA’s healthcare system will benefit not just healthcare insurers, but the generic drug industry, as low-cost prescription drugs will the way to keep premiums low, and also the hospitals industry, which will no longer have to worry about the annual US $40 billion debt for unpaid medical bills. However, there will be additional taxes for medical device companies and insurers will still face tight pricing restrictions.

The United States is also facing a sequestration of $600 billion, in tax increases and budget cuts, which is due to take effect starting on January 1st 2013. Neither Congress nor the two Presidential candidates want this sequestration to happen, but it is still unclear now Obama has been re-elected as to what will happen come January. As an example of the effect it could have on the pharma industry, if the sequestration goes ahead, the FDA’s budget will be cut about $320 million.

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Related news:

Five Obamacare Winners In Second Presidential Term (Forbes)

Obama Win Means Health Overhaul to Move Ahead in States (Bloomberg News)

One big winner in Tuesday’s vote: health reform (NBC)

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