National Consumers League

Election implications for consumers and health reform?


Health care (and its monumental reform) was incorporated into the exit polls on November 2 to help better understand voters’ motivation, and it was apparent that it had a major impact on how citizens voted. More than 50 percent of the electorate approved of the health reform legislation that passed, and more than half of those supporters would like to see the reform to go even further. While just fewer than half the voters said they would like to see the health law repealed or overturned, there is little chance that will actually happen. With Democrats still in control of the Senate, and a President with veto power, attempts to diminish or destroy the law would likely not make it out of the House of Representatives. It is also important to note that the law was created in such a way that many of the programs have built-in funding mechanisms, so overall budget reductions will not have an adverse impact on the pending improvements to the health care system. Beyond the health law itself, we might find the new budget hawks of the House preventing appropriations, and thus funding, from making their way to our public health agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.