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S&P Equity Research; Health Care Reform After The Buzzsaw - Where Are We Now?
Date:2/8/2010

NEW YORK, Feb. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- With the recent election of Senator Scott Brown in Massachusetts resulting in the loss of the Democratic supermajority, the urgency behind broad-based health care reform with the promise of universal coverage for the majority of uninsured Americans has faded dramatically, according to Standard & Poor's Equity Research.  President Obama recently noted the country is closer than it has ever been to passing what has been for many a long sought after social reform, and the President called upon the Congress to "finish the job."  Given this backdrop, Standard & Poor's Equity Research expects the fervor for health care reform to calm as the President refocuses his domestic agenda on righting the economy and job creation, while party leaders work to find bipartisan support for more incremental reforms.

S&P Equity Research expects the President to work to repair some of the partisan discord that broke out during his initial attempts at reform, and we expect his efforts at reform to focus on areas of common agreement and populist discontent.  Given our view there is broad agreement among the parties about three broad points – the need to slow the pace of growth in health care expenditures, the desire to eliminate waste and inefficiency in health care, and a preference for instituting quality measures – S&P Equity Research expects more modest reforms over time.  Among areas we see most ripe for accord include: elimination of annual and lifetime insurance benefit limits; restrictions on denial of coverage due to pre-existing conditions; the creation of purchasing mechanisms for self-employed and small businesses to give them access to coverage at group rates; incentives for use of electronic health records (HER); and increased covera
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SOURCE Standard & Poor's
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