Capitol Hill

Debating the PPACA

More than a year after a Democratic-controlled Congress passed the $1 trillion-plus Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the debate regarding the highly controversial health care law remains far from over. With public opinion polls indicating less than majority support for the PPACA throughout the U.S., congressional Republicans continue to attack the law on numerous fronts as they focus on the 2012 elections.

The law's problems

During the coming months, congressional Republicans will attempt to highlight the PPACA's negative effects on economic growth and job creation. They argue that widespread uncertainty regarding the law's implementation—especially the employer mandate provisions that will take effect in 2014—is a major factor contributing to weak economic growth and job creation, particularly among small and mid-sized businesses.

The PPACA requires all employers with 50 or more "full-time equivalent" employees to provide government-approved health insurance or pay a penalty to the Internal Revenue Service. Additionally, employers who provide qualifying health benefits still may face penalties if their employees qualify for new subsidies created by the law.