Support Marketplace

Obama's health care law faces a Republican House

Then-Gov. Mitt Romney signed into law Massachusetts' healthcare reform bill in April 2006.

TEXT OF INTERVIEW

JEREMY HOBSON: Tomorrow, Republicans take over the House of Representatives. And topic number one will be health care. They've set a date next week to vote on a repeal of the health care reform law.

For more on what this means to the industries that will be affected by the law, let's bring in Marketplace's Scott Tong live in Washington. Good morning Scott.

SCOTT TONG: Good morning Jeremy.

HOBSON: So Republicans have set a date to vote on this in the House? Where will all that go?

TONG: The smart money says -- probably nowhere, Jeremy. Democrats, as you know, they still run the Senate. And even if repeal somehow makes it through there, a White House veto awaits. So any change would likely come after the 2012 election cycle. And by then there's only one year left for the big pieces of this health care industry overhaul to kick in. Mean time you have insurance companies that have to set up these new exchanges for individuals to shop for plans, hospitals have to plan to get paid less for medicare -- there's a lot to do in the real world.

HOBSON: Still -- a lot of uncertainty Scott for industry. What do you make of all that? What could happen here?

TONG: Well -- there's a lot of fretting. That's what's happening now. Right now if you're a doctor's office, or an insurance company or a hospital, do you invest in new facilities and software, and hire people now to comply with this law? Or not? Robert Laszewski is a health care industry consultant and he says that's the big question.

ROBERT LASZEWSKI: Do they spend lots of money, only to find the Republicans kill this thing in 2013? This political standoff really puts the marketplace in a terrible place. And you would hope that the politicians would understand that.

Now just to make things even more interesting: we also have lawsuits -- and a real possibility the Supreme Court will rule in the next year or two on a central piece of the law requiring individuals to buy health care insurance.

HOBSON: Right. Marketplace's Scott Tong in Washington, thanks so much.

TONG: Thank you.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...