March 1, 2013

ACA Highlights: How the New Law Affects Seniors and their Families

Michael A. Kirtland & Catherine A. Seal

With the re-election of Barack Obama as forty- fourth president of the United States, we now have some certainty concerning federal health- care legislation and its impact for the future. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as “Obama Care” and, for pur- poses of this article, the “Affordable Care Act” or “ACA,” was signed into law by the president on March 23, 2010, but its provisions are designed to be phased into law over a number of years.

As a result of passage of the ACA, a number of state attorneys general challenged the constitutionality of the Act, with the U.S. Supreme Court deciding in favor of consti- tutionality by a split decision. In the recent presidential election, the Republican candidate had vowed as part of the party platform to repeal the legislation, causing concern and confusion as to what future health- care policy in the United States would look like. While opponents in Congress may still seek repeal, with the reelection of President Obama and the make-up of the Congress, it is likely the law will phase into existence as planned.

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