Key executives of several industry organizations issued press statements following President Obama’s re-election on Tuesday. The following are excerpts.
“Yesterday the American people spoke and re-elected President Obama for another term while maintaining the status quo in the House and Senate,” said Robert O. Smith, president of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), Falls Church, Va. “The President has many tough challenges ahead but he has also pledged to represent all Americans.
"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 health care law to better serve middle America,” he adds. “We are eager to work with the Administration and Congress in a nonpartisan manner to develop workable policies and legislative solutions.
"With a NAIFA member in every congressional district, NAIFA stands ready to build new relationships and strengthen existing connections in order to establish a basic level of understanding among all members of Congress about the value of insurance protection and financial planning,” Smith continues. “If the lame duck session is successful in avoiding the fiscal cliff, the resolution is not likely to permanently address the most significant tax and economic issues.
Health Care for America Now (HCAN), a Washington, D.C.-based coalition of more than 1,000 groups in 50 states representing 30 million people, discloses in a press statement that President’s Obama’s victory “seals the deal” for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
“After two years of raging debate about health care and the most expensive and polarizing presidential election campaign in our nation’s history, Obamacare won tonight—and it's here to stay,” says Ethan Rome, executive director of HCAN. “This election secures the guarantee of high quality, affordable health care for every American, without insurance company abuses and hassle.
“This is extraordinarily good news for every family worried about getting the health care they need without being buried by medical bills,” Rome adds. “It’s huge news for the 129 million Americans with pre-existing conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure who won’t face insurance company discrimination any more. It means 30 million uninsured Americans will finally have health care.
“Progressives won a historic victory in 2010 when Congress passed the Affordable Care Act," Rome continues. “A conservative U.S. Supreme Court found the law constitutional earlier this year. Now the American people have voted to end this 100-year debate once and for all. It's time for opponents of health care to accept this law so Washington can move on to other pressing issues like creating jobs.”
The Stop The HIT Coalition, a Washington, D.C.-based bipartisan group supporting small business, issued the following statement on the re-election of President Barack Obama for a second term:
“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,” states Amanda Austin, Director of Federal Public Policy, National Federation of Independent Business.
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 co-sponsors 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,” Austin adds.
One of the largest tax increases included in the healthcare reform law, the HIT will fall largely on the small business community. The HIT will impact 2 million small businesses, 12 million employees and the self-employed who purchase their own policy in the individual market and 26 million employees who are covered by their employers.
In respect to prospects for group health insurance, Jeff Kubik, an attorney and founder of Employee Benefit Risk Management, Oak Brook, Ill., predicts the “minimization of group coverage and a push towards individual policies that is sure to take hold” following President’s Obama’s victory.
Kubik also forecasts the “soaring increase in health insurance rates for small groups and individual policies as Obamacare becomes fully enacted, with guaranteed issue for individual coverage being offered initially at a more accommodating price.”
Kubrik advises health insurance brokers protect to existing business by encouraging clients to seek alternate plan designs such as self-funded programs and defined contribution plans, which may enable employers to mitigate the impending increase in health insurance rates.
Kubik additionally encourages health insurance agents to protect their future by becoming proficient in cross selling from group coverage to individual policies.
“Their ability to serve the needs of both the small group and individual markets will directly impact the agent’s ability to effectively market health care coverage in the future,” says Kubik.
With regards to the proposed Illinois state health Exchange, Kubik states he believes a compensation plan will be developed for agents.