President Barack Obama's victory serves as a vindication for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, industry experts said soon after the president won re-election Tuesday.
The election also produced a Congress that will continue the existing split in control between the two parties. Democrats were projected by the Associated Press to maintain their Senate majority and the Republicans to maintain control of the House of Representatives.
While Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill might continue trying to chip away at the law in pieces, they won't be successful in overturning the statute in its entirety, said Eric Zimmerman, a partner with McDermott Will and Emery in Washington.
“Any provider standing on the sidelines? They can now take their head out of the sand,” Zimmerman said. “It's here to stay and it's time to get on board and take on strategies that can position hospitals for success in this brave new world.”
Tom Miller, a resident fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, said any repeal effort is at least temporarily “blocked” in Congress. But the law may regain political significance for Republicans if there are major implementation problems with its major provisions in the run-up to the 2014 mid-term elections.