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This award-winning blog supplements the articles in Hospital Infection Control & Prevention.

Election results, Supreme Court ruling mean full implementation of Obamacare on horizon

Ain't going to happen...

On the heels of a Supreme Court ruling confirming its constitutionality, yesterday’s presidential election results mean that the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act remains upright and intact as the signature piece of legislation of a two-term president.

While challenger Mitt Romney promised to put “Obamacare” to the sword as one on his first acts from the oval office, President Barack Obama’s reelection takes such threats off the table and clears the way for key provisions of the law to be enacted in the next few years.

For example, as of January 1, 2014 the law prohibits insurers from discriminating against or charging higher rates for any individuals based on pre-existing medical conditions. That same year the controversial “individual mandate” goes into effect, meaning those who decline to obtain health insurance face federal fines. While political battles ahead may threaten aspects of the law, the president’s reelection ensures he will have the high ground in protecting the landmark legislation.

As predicted during the ramp up and passage of the controversial law, infection prevention has been one of the clear winners under health care reform. Many states and federal agencies have received funding to implement strategies and collaborative projects to prevent healthcare associated infections (HAIs). Moreover, the president’s reelection should empower the Centers for Medicare and & Services (CMS) to continue targeting HAIs in its various pay-for-performance efforts.