Capitol Hill

The future of health care

Now that President Obama has been re-elected to a second term, his signature health care reform law known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is on track to be fully implemented beginning January 2014. Affected employers must be prepared to provide government-approved health benefits to employees or pay fines for failing to do so. However, whether the law will be successful in achieving its goals of controlling health care costs and expanding coverage to the uninsured remains to be seen.

Under attack

If the ACA is not viewed as successful within the first few years, it will be vulnerable to political attack from opponents who wish to repeal or significantly modify it. The law's opponents recognize repeal will not be possible while the president remains in office, but they will keep fighting against what they view as a government takeover of the health insurance system.

Congressional Republicans, who have majority control of the House, maintain their long-term goal continues to be full repeal of the health care law.