Like many businesses around the world, law firm marketing departments are beginning to sort out what the new business opportunities the re-election of the President creates.
For many business lawyers, the re-election of Barak Obama will lead to additional billable hours. While Mitt Romney promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act, it is now likely full steam ahead. Therefore, businesses that were postponing compliance activities will need to start in earnest to meet the upcoming implementation deadlines. It is now all but certain that the individual mandate will go into effect in 2014. Therefore, employers must begin the process of weighing the costs of providing health insurance against the costs of non-compliance and states must begin to set up healthcare exchanges.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will also continue to flex its regulatory muscle under the Obama Administration. Its draft strategic plan for 2013 to 2018 states that it will continue to protect consumers through regulation and supervision. More importantly, the CFPB indicates that it will measure its success, in large part, by the number of enforcement actions it brings. As such, supervised entities like banks and lenders should be prepared for increased scrutiny.
Other businesses will also likely continue to see increased oversight from agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Department of Health and Human Services. All of these agencies have stepped up their auditing and enforcement activities under the Obama Administration.
For instance, the ACA provides HHS with a number of new tools to fight against Medicare fraud. The EEOC will also continue its aggressive stance against discrimination in the workplace. In its latest Strategic Enforcement Plan, the agency listed discriminatory hiring practices, bias against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, and accommodating pregnant employees as its top priorities.
While some industries face greater regulatory burdens, others will likely continue to grow under the Obama Administration. Businesses with interests in green energy and renewable resources will likely continue to benefit from Obama’s plan to move towards cleaner sources of energy. The President has also pledged push through legislation to boost lending and financing opportunities for entrepreneurs and small businesses.
Therefore, regardless of whether clients are helped or hindered by the reelection, attorneys can expect their phones to be ringing over the next four years.