The debate over health care reform isn’t over. Business, organizations and special interest groups will have many legislative, regulatory and political opportunities to influence the final outcome.
That was the key message Ali Santore, CFM Vice President for Federal Affairs, shared with members of Pinnacle Worldwide in a national webinar conducted July 14, 2010.
Santore highlighted key features of the health care legislation and when each would take effect. Among those features she noted more people will have health care coverage, limits on pre-existing conditions will be eliminated, businesses will be required to provide health insurance and “Cadillac plans” will be taxed. These and other features will be implemented between now and 2019.
However, she warned there are some unanswered issues, such as how programs will be funded, demand may outpace the ability of the health care workforce to provide service, some health insurance companies may leave the market, large employers may choose to drop coverage for employees and unresolved “details” need to be addressed.
All will be administrative action in the form of rules and guidelines. Congress will consider more legislation to make technical adjustments to the original bill and to consider budget issues.
Contentious political action is not over, Santore added. Between now and 2019 there will be one congressional redistricting, two presidential and five congressional elections. Some or all of these political actions may include a referendum on health care reform.
Santore encouraged Pinnacle partners to keep involved in the health care process for their own business and their clients. The public affairs process is similar to a targeted communications campaign, setting goals, developing key messages, targeting specific audiences and using a variety of communication tools.
Ali specializes in federal health care policy for CFM clients. She joined CFM in 2007 after spending three years on Capitol Hill in the office of former Senator Gordon H. Smith (R-Oregon).