Solving the Math Problem in the Affordable Care Act With Associations


May 21, 2014

HouseAlmost every day we get asked to handicap the November elections and how the outcome might effect the Affordable Care Act. This isn’t solved with a crystal ball as much as with a calculator.

No worries, there are no quizzes after this, so come along for the numbers.

The House of Representatives has voted 50 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Not once did any of the 50 actions see a floor vote in the Senate. Why? Apparently Senate Majority Leader Reid has found other pressing priorities to debate in the Senate first so, no repeal votes. What if Senator Reid was temporarily blinded by the sun and allowed for a vote? Still not going to prevail, Democrats control the Senate 55-45. What if 51 Senators somehow voted “Yea” mistaking it for “Nay?”  and it got to the President’s desk?


Article 1, Section 7 of the Constitution tells us that for Congress to override a Presidential veto, two-thirds of both Houses of Congress must vote to override. Here’s where we need the calculator.

To override a Presidential veto takes 67 out of 100 Senate votes and 290 of 435 House votes. Today, Republicans have 45 votes in the Senate and aren’t likely to get 6 Democrats to vote with them on repeal if it ever came to the floor, or 22 Democrats to join them for an override vote. In the House, Republicans have 233 members and Democrats 199, with 3 vacancies. To override a veto in the House takes 290 votes – and Republicans would need all 233 of their own votes and 57 Democrats. Not likely.

What of November, 2014?  Interesting Rasmussen poll the other day of the generic Congressional ballot where 41% of Americans would vote for a Democrat for Congress and 37% for a Republican.

2014 senateFor Republicans to achieve a veto-proof Senate, they would need a pick up of 22 seats to reach 67. There are 36 U.S. Senate seats up for election in 2014. Of those seats, 15 are currently held by Republicans and 21 are held by Democrats. In other words, a clean-sweep of Democrat seats and holding all 15 of their own.

By even optimistic Republican sooth-Sayers, the Rs might have a shot at +6.  Of course the Republicans were supposed to take the Senate in 2010 and 2012 and failed in both cycles.

Over on the House side, where Rs currently have 233, there may be a chance for the Republicans to pick up a few seats but the end result of the November elections may just be like 2012 – with a great deal of noise, $5 billion spent and nothing really having changed in the numbers.

By our calculator, this means that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is on the books until the next President is sworn in on January 20, 2017 – and assuming the Congressional re-alignment that would be necessary along with the Presidency allows for a repeal.

This means we need to find ways to help our members deal with the many challenges of this law and health care costs and benefits delivery – with – the ACA being on the books for at least another three years.

Talk with us – we know how to help.






About gguilford

A successful executive well positioned to leverage extensive skill and experience in the business, government and political environments within which I have worked to bring energy, vision and skill to managing human capital, strategic planning, crisis management, corporate management, financial management, government and public affairs challenges. Positioning for the future in managing and directing change and as well as seeing and seizing opportunities others miss.
This entry was posted in Association Health Insurance and Employee Benefit Marketplaces, GBAC APG News, Health Insurance Reform, Legislative and Regulatory Affairs. Bookmark the permalink.

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