Healthcare associations congratulate Obama, press issues for next term

By Rene Letourneau
10:19 AM

Healthcare industry stakeholders reacted quickly to President Barack Obama’s victory over Republican challenger Mitt Romney. Here are some excerpts of comments Healthcare Finance News has received:

Jeffrey Cain, MD, president, American Academy of Family Physicians: “The American Academy of Family Physicians looks forward to working with President Barack Obama and the new Congress to ensure that everyone in this country can get the right health care at the right time from the right professional. That means continuing to work for access to both healthcare coverage and to the primary care physicians who should be the front door to our healthcare system… Healthcare remains an important topic as Congress and President Obama address the issues challenging our nation. We hope they both will heed their constituents’ concerns and work together to improve the quality of healthcare, build the primary care physician workforce and enable patients to have a personal physician who can provide comprehensive, coordinated care.

[Political Malpractice commentary: Don't pop the champagne for ACA anytime soon]

Ron Pollack, executive director, Families USA:
 “The election has settled key issues about the directions that our nation’s healthcare will take: It means that ObamaCare will be implemented, the Medicaid safety net will be strengthened and Medicare’s guaranteed benefits will not be undermined. 
As a result, people across America will gain peace of mind knowing that high-quality, affordable health care will be there for themselves and their loved ones.”  

Amanda Austin, director of federal public policy, National Federation of Independent Business: “Now that the elections are behind us, it is time for Washington to get back to work and remove prohibitive taxes and costs on our job creators. The need to repeal the Health Insurance Tax (HIT) on small business has received high bipartisan support during the 112th Congress with legislation in the House gaining 226 cosponsors and with companion legislation in the Senate. We encourage President Obama to make good on his praise of small business during the campaign by working with the new Congress to repeal this tax which is already holding back hiring at the small business level.”

Karen Ignagni, president and CEO, America’s Health Insurance Plans: “We congratulate President Barack Obama and members of Congress in both parties for winning their elections. Health plans are committed to working with policymakers to make coverage more affordable, promote choice and competition and maintain a strong safety net for our nation's most vulnerable populations. As the healthcare reform law is implemented, policymakers must prioritize affordability for consumers and employers. Several provisions in the law, such as the new premium tax, minimum coverage requirements and age rating restrictions, need to be addressed to keep coverage as affordable as possible and ensure broad participation in the system.”

John R. Tongue, MD, president, American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons: “The AAOS congratulates President Barack Obama on his reelection. During his first term, the president and his administration fulfilled vital patient needs by improving access to health insurance coverage and preventive care, lowering prescription drug costs and implementing consumer safeguards against insurance industry abuse… In his second term, the AAOS hopes that President Obama will work with the physician community to address these unresolved, health system challenges like finding a value-driven solution to the sustainable growth rate formula, reducing the burden of medical lawsuits, reforming antitrust laws that threaten patient choice and eliminating the regulatory and administrative barriers that impede the patient-physician relationship.”

[Political Malpractice slideshow: Readers views' on healthcare in the elections]

Robert O. Smith, president, National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors: “The election results tell us that our country remains sharply divided over how to move forward. NAIFA members serve Main Street. We have been vocal in our desire for modifications to the new healthcare law to better serve middle America. We are eager to work with the Administration and Congress in a nonpartisan manner to develop workable policies and legislative solutions."

Karen A. Daley, PhD, president, American Nurses Association: “President Obama believes, like we do, that healthcare is a right, not a privilege. We are excited to continue working with his administration to ensure that patients have access to quality, affordable health care, including access to a full range of nursing services.”

Mike Abrams, CEO, Ohio Hospital Association: "With the elections decided, the most pressing issue facing the nation is the fiscal cliff comprised of expiring tax cuts and planned across-the-board spending reductions. Ohio hospitals urge Congress to avoid dangerous automatic cuts to the Medicare program and instead consider strategic approaches to reduce healthcare costs, improve quality, better coordinate care, enhance personal responsibility and modernize Medicare and Medicaid."

Bruce Johnson, CEO, GHX: “With President Obama’s win, the Affordable Care Act survives. Whether you are an Obama or Romney supporter, we can all agree that the nation’s healthcare industry has been inherently flawed for a very long time and on an unsustainable cost curve. Many hospitals and healthcare manufacturers have not waited to see who would win the election to start changing the status quo. Healthcare trading partners have already started to collaborate – something that is very new to the industry – to reduce the cost while improving the quality of healthcare. With Obama’s second term, we’ll see even more change and the healthcare industry this time next year will look very different from how it is today.”

[Related: Mostashari says Obama reelection points to critical role of data]

Jeremy Lazarus, MD, president, American Medical Association: “The AMA congratulates President Obama on winning reelection as the President of the United States... (T)he AMA is eager to continue working with elected leaders on both sides of the aisle to accelerate bold innovation in medical education, create an environment in which physicians thrive in sustainable practices and help patients and physicians work together to improve health outcomes and ensure high quality care with optimal value for our healthcare dollar.”

Related Election Day coverage:

Mostashari: Obama relection points to critical role of data

Results of state legislatures and ballot initiatives could spark conflict with federal law

Political Malpractice slideshow: The election and the fate of the ACA

Politics, budgets, and reform pummel state Medicaid efforts