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What Does the Election Mean for Health Reform and Other Health Issues?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Health reform is law. But how the law is implemented, and how quickly, depend in part on the results of the midterm election.

Now that the leadership of the House will soon change hands, what might Republicans do with respect to health reform? How might Democrats respond? What’s likely to happen with reform in the Senate, with a smaller Democratic majority? Apart from reform, how might other health programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP be affected by the new congressional lineup?

To address these questions and more, the Alliance for Health Reform and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation sponsored a November 12 briefing. Panelists were nationally-respected analyst Norm Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), AARP’s policy chief John Rother and Dean Rosen, former long-time Hill staffer and former chief of staff to Republican Majority Leader Sen. Bill Frist. Ed Howard of the Alliance moderated.


 John Rother, AARP, Speaker
 Norm Ornstein, American Enterprise Institute, Speaker
 Dean Rosen, Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti, Speaker
Ed Howard, Alliance for Health Reform, Moderator
(Click on the camera icon to see a video of the speaker's presentation.)

Transcript, Event Summary and/or Webcast and Podcast

Transcript: What Does the Election Mean for Health Reform and Other Health Issues? (Adobe Acrobat PDF), 11/12/2010
Full Webcast/Podcast: What Does the Election Mean for Health Reform and Other Health Issues?

The full webcast and podcast for this briefing, as well as videos of individual speakers' presentations, are provided by Kaiser Family Foundation.

Source Materials

Find-an-Expert Service for Reporters (Word Document), The Alliance for Health Reform, 11/1/2010
- Flyer describing ways the Alliance can assist reporters writing stories on health reform.
Updated Sourcebook flyer (Word Document), The Alliance for Health Reform, 11/1/2010
- Describes what the Alliance for Health Reform's Sourcebook is and how it can assist reporters.
Exit Poll Results (Word Document), Fox News, 11/3/2010
- Exit polls from the midterm election show that 48 percent of respondents want Congress to repeal the new health reform law, 31 percent want Congress to expand the law and 16 percent want the law left as is.

Offsite Materials (briefing documents saved on other websites)

Many Americans Still Confused About New Healthcare Reform Law and Its Provisions, Harris Interactive, 7/29/2010
- This piece discusses the common misconceptions held by the public regarding what is, and is not, part of the new health reform law passed in March 2010.
Could GOP win truly affect the health-care overhaul?, Ezra Klein, Washington Post, 11/1/2010
- Discusses actions that the Republican-led House could take to weaken the ACA, and the probability of these actions being taken.
Kaiser Health Tracking Poll -- August 2010 (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Kaiser Family Foundation, 8/1/2010
- Poll of public perception of the new health reform law
Most Seniors Misinformed, Unaware of Key Provisions of the Affordable Care Act , National Council on Aging, 7/26/2010
- A poll conducted by the National Council on Aging found that the majority of seniors do not understand important components of the ACA that will affect the care they receive.
No clear path for GOP on health care repeal, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Associated Press , 11/4/2010
- Discusses potential strategies Republicans may take to weaken the ACA.
Repeal The Health Care Law? Not So Fast, Julie Rovner, NPR, 11/4/2010
- Talks about the hurdles the GOP will face in their attempts to weaken health reform.
Boehner calls health care law 'monstrosity,' vows to roll it back , MSNBC, 11/3/2010
- Speaker-in-waiting John Boehner describes the Republican party's strategy for repealing health reform.
Press Conference by the President (excerpt), White House, 11/3/2010
- President Obama answers questions about what the midterm results might mean for the health reform law.
House Takeover Would Give GOP Ways To Attack Health Law , Marilyn Werber Serafini, Kaiser Health News , 10/31/2010
- Speculating that Rep. Joe Barton will head the House Energy and Commerce Committee, this article discusses problems with the bill that he plans to spotlight, with ultimate repeal in mind.
Post-Election Analysis: Expect Few Changes in Healthcare Reform Legislation, AScribe, 11/4/2010
- This article describes why repealing the health reform law may be more difficult for Republicans that initally thought.
Senate GOP leader takes aim at health care law , MSNBC, 11/3/2010
- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell recommends the House take steps to de-fund the ACA.
Why Republicans Don’t Have A Mandate To Repeal Health Reform, Igor Volsky, Wonk Room, 11/3/2010
- What happened in the election to House Democrats who voted against health reform (12 won re-election and 18 lost).
The Election Story Not Told, Trudy Lieberman, Columbia Journalism Review, 11/4/2010
- "Republicans, with their repeal and replace slogans, stirred up discontent about a law that was basically built with Republican and conservative ideas."


Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute discussed the implications of Republican successes in the mid-term elections, at the Nov. 12 briefing cosponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. (6 min.)

Dean Rosen of Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti says Republicans in the new Congress will fight the health reform law through investigations, legislation and the appropriations process. From the Nov. 12 briefing cosponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. (11 min.)

John Rother of AARP says the nation shouldn't overdramatize the impact of this year's midterm election on health reform. From the Nov. 12 briefing cosponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. (5 min.)


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