In what might have been the most widely reported non election day contest, the Massachusetts special senate election dealt health care reform what may be its final blow. While the need for some health care reform continues to be important for Americans, the approach by which President Obama hoped to achieve that goal is clearly in jeopardy and is likely not to pass in 2010.
Of course, there are legislative options for Congress to exercise that could possibly save the passage of the Senate bill in its current form. Given what was certainly a vote of no confidence in Massachusetts, it seems unlikely that the Democrats will take what could be construed as a move of desperation to move health care reform. With the midterm elections just a few months away, even more House and Senate Democrats are fighting uphill battles to be reelected.
Several Democrats have openly admitted that an overhaul of the health care system was too ambitious, and that a scaled down version that would address problems in Medicare might have been more acceptable to the House and the Senate. A smaller health care reform would also reduce the potential cost, thereby allowing the Congressional Budget Office to more accurately estimate its financial impact.
What does this mean for retirees, preretirees and working individuals? For now, it’s health care as usual. Should some level of health care reform make it through Congress, there may be some change. For the most part, individuals will continue to have the same responsiblities for health insurance and future care for their family members.
If your clients were more confused about health care as a result of possible reform, now is the time to be sure that planning remains consistent with today’s health care. For employers, your employees should not revise their health care decisions based on health care reform.
For additional information to provide to your clients and employees, contact EAB HealthWorks.