If the election had gone the other way, health reporters across the country would have spent the rest of the week — and many to come — reporting on what happens to national health care policy now, with a likely Mitt Romney-led push to repeal at least a large part of the Affordable Care Act.
Instead, we know: The federal health law signed by President Obama in 2010 stands. States have until Nov. 16 to decide whether to create a state-run insurance market or to allow the federal government to do it for them. Those exchanges are expected to come online in 2014, when most Americans will be required to have health insurance and many states will expand their Medicaid programs.
The list of things that must be done between now and the start of 2014 is “pretty massive,” Sarah Kliff of the Washington Post WonkBlog writes. In addition to deciding whether to expand Medicaid to cover people who make up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level — about $30,656 for a family of four in 2012 — states must figure out which residents meet that measure, “a huge technical challenge that requires coordination between federal and state computer systems that don’t usually talk to each other,” Kliff reports.