The Affordable Care Act has brought healthcare to the forefront of American politics, both in Washington and in the media.
While fraught with drama, the debates about the inconsistencies of the American healthcare system are numerous, and a number of important issues have arisen – for instance, is healthcare a right or a privilege, and is an individual mandate legally and morally justified.
So where do the 2012 presidential candidates stand on healthcare? Read on for more details.
Affordable Care Act
We have to start with the elephant in the room. Often touted as Obamacare by proponents and enemies of the plan alike, the ACA is one of the most prominent issues of the 2012 election.
While we know President Obama’s stance, it’s interesting to note Republican challenge Mitt Romney’s views on the controversial law. Despite the Obama administration’s admissions that the ACA was inspired by the healthcare reform Romney spearheaded as governor of Massachusetts, Romney has referred to the ACA as a “federal takeover of healthcare” and has insisted sweeping healthcare reform should take place at the state level.
For starters, National Health Information Technology Week was Obama’s idea. And with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, President Obama injected $20 billion into healthcare IT, establishing a stance that HIT innovation is key to providing more efficient patient care.
Romney’s views on HIT aren’t very well-known, but an American College of Physicians report states that “Romney supports efforts to facilitate information technology interoperability,” a statement that contradicts Romney’s opposition to the ACA.
Sustainable Growth Rate
Early last year, President Obama proposed a $3.7 trillion budget to postpone the scheduled 25% cut in Medicare payments to physicians based on the SGR until September 2013. This proposal included cuts to state Medicaid grants, healthcare and COBRA tax credits and the public health and social services emergency fund.
Mitt Romney has voiced his support of his running mate Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan, which leads us to conclude he’s likely to push for a debt-ceiling plan that would cut Medicare spending. Other than this inference, the Republican candidate has not divulged any specifics regarding SGR.
The Obama administration’s FY13 budget establishes $30.7 billion in NIH funding, and President Obama signed an executive order undoing a number of restrictions on stem-cell research enacted by President George W. Bush.
Romney hasn’t discussed specific allocation of research monies, but he has taken a stance on stem-cell research. Although he thinks stem-cell therapy has obvious benefits, he sides mostly with his party in believing no new embryos should be fertilized to harvest stem cells.
How will the elections affect your practice?Tweet