The re-election of President Barack Obama, coupled with a continued Democratic majority in the Senate, sets the path for the future of healthcare in the United States.
The Obama administration is expected to continue with preparations for key provisions of the Affordable Care Act, such as the individual mandate to buy healthcare insurance, the establishment of exchanges in each state for individuals to purchase insurance and the expansion of Medicaid to cover more Americans.
They live on opposite ends of the country and support opposing candidates, but two nurses working on the 2012 presidential campaigns agree their profession needs to be seen and heard in the political arena. “I think it’s very important to get nurses involved,” said Sarah Baumann McMorris, RN, BSN, an ED nurse at Overlake Hospital Medical Center in Bellevue, Wash.
Nurse.com submitted questions to the campaigns of President Obama and Gov. Romney regarding their positions on issues about nursing and healthcare. Following are the answers as submitted by the campaigns. The responses are unedited with the exception of small changes for grammar or clarity.
Healthcare ranks second in importance among likely voters in the upcoming presidential election, according to an analysis of 37 polls conducted by 17 organizations. The ranking is the highest for healthcare as a presidential election issue since 1992.
It seems a nurse's work is never done. And neither is the work of those who lobby on behalf of nurses. Every two years when a fresh U.S. Congress convenes in Washington, D.C., advocacy begins anew. Bills from the previous Congress are dead. Some sponsors of that legislation may have been voted out of office, or have retired. Bills need to be reintroduced and often need new sponsors.
About 72 million people nationwide would be uninsured under the healthcare plan of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney if he wins the presidential election, according to a report by the Commonwealth Fund. Romney has said he would repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with block grants to states for Medicaid and new tax incentives.
Barring unforeseen events or crises, the economy will probably trump healthcare as the deciding factor for many nurses — and everyone else — in the upcoming presidential election, say those involved in nursing and healthcare policy.
“Everything else kind of pales in comparison,” said Colleen Conway-Welch, RN, PhD, CNM, FAAN, FACNM, dean and professor of nursing at the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing in Nashville, Tenn.
Paul Ryan said he is "disappointed" the country didn't accept the GOP presidential ticket's budget proposals and doesn't believe the election was a rejection of its ideas on overhauling Medicare. The Republican vice presidential nominee sat down for his first post-election interviews with home-state news outlets WISC-TV and the Journal-Sentinel newspaper. He'll tape his first post-election national TV interview on Tuesday with ABC News.
In Tuesday's victory, Barack Obama not only won his second term. He protected his first. At a tumultuous victory celebration in Chicago early Wednesday morning, the re-elected president called for bipartisanship in addressing four ambitious priorities over the next four years: reducing the deficit, overhauling the tax code, revising immigration laws and reducing the nation's dependence on foreign oil.
Confidence has waned in the United States since President Obama's historic election four years ago, but most Americans are still optimistic about the next four years as the president heads into his second term, according to a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll. After a bruising election season, and as Obama and Congress head into negotiations on how to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, 69% of Americans perceive the U.S. as a country greatly divided when it comes to the most important values.
If nothing else, Wednesday night’s debate is further proof that President Obama’s administration has generated a new word that will likely live on in history. “Obamacare.” “Obamacare is on my list,” Romney said, turning to Obama: “I apologize, Mr. President. I use that term with all respect.” “I like it,” Obama replied. Romney: "Okay, good -- so I'll get rid of that."
Swing State Updates
The latest news from the states that are likely to deterimine the outcome of the 2012 presidential race.
Electoral Vote Tracker
There are many paths to victory in November, but they all must lead to one number: 270. Craft your own route to 270 electoral votes with USA TODAY's Electoral Vote Tracker. Click on states to move them into a candidate's column and create your own winning scenario for the 2012 presidential nominees.
Who is leading in the Twittersphere?
This meter tracks the Twitter Political Index, a daily measure of sentiment expressed by Twitter users about President Obama and Mitt Romney. The index, similar to a favorability rating, is calculated on a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 being the most positive.
Political Ad Tracker
Political Ad Tracker takes a closer look at ads and allows you to rate whether an ad is believable and how it impacts your views on the candidates and issues in the 2012 campaign.
We want to hear from you! Take our #ScrubsPoll & share your thoughts on wearing scrubs in public: http://t.co/96cVO0NDKr
Outcome oriented by By Debra Wood, Today In PT
If you live in a swing state, it’s impossible to turn on the television without being bombarded with campaign ads — for the presidency and other races. Who will control Congress? Who will live in the White House? Much is at stake for healthcare providers, including physical therapists, and much needs to take place before the end of the year or PTs will face significant cuts in reimbursement.