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Health Care Reform
November 2016

The Choices on Health Reform in the US Presidential and Congressional Elections

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Department of Health Law, Policy, and Management, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(11):1595-1596. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.6098

Although the outcomes of the US Presidential and Congressional elections in November 2016 will not be determined by attitudes toward the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the results will likely determine its long-term fate. As was the case in 2008 and 2012, the electorate’s decisions on whether the Republicans or the Democrats control the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives will have fundamental consequences for the future of national health reform.

A Republican victory that includes that party’s control of the White House, Senate, and House of Representatives would likely augur huge shifts in national health policy. A Democratic victory that included the White House and a Senate majority would likely further embed the ACA into state and federal health policy, and perhaps lead to further expansion and reforms. More than 6 years after President Barack Obama signed the legislation into law in 2010, the ACA has yet to become settled policy.

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