Photo Credit: (Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert
If you noticed more chatter lately about health care, in particular the law signed by President Obama called the Affordable Care Act, you are not imagining things. No, you are not in a time machine and waking up back in 2009 in the throes of the debate between Democrats who supported major health care reform and Republicans who didn't. So why then does the discourse sound nearly the same now as it did three years ago? There’s a perfect storm of factors teeing up the battle over health care once again.
Health Care Turns Two!
Friday marks the second anniversary of the law, which the president views as a crowing achievement for his first years in office. Ahead of the anniversary, the Obama administration is touting the benefits of the legislation, such as in the roundtable pictured above, where I and a group of reporters from other women's sites talked with two of President Obama's senior advisers in the Roosevelt Room in the West Wing at the White House. (More on that in a moment!)
On to the Supreme Court
Right after the Affordable Care Act turns two, the U.S. Supreme Court begins three days of arguments next week on the law. 26 states have sued the government, calling the law, namely the mandate that every American will need to have health care coverage by 2014, unconstitutional. As former Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal told the Huffington Post, it is a "very rare thing" for the Supreme Court "to be asked to strike down any piece of federal legislation, let alone something as signally important as the health care reform bill is."
Oh, And There’s a Campaign!
You’d have to be in a time machine not to know that the Republican presidential campaign still wages on and “Obamacare,” the term conservatives love to use to criticize the president’s plan, has taken center stage in the race. Even Mitt Romney, who supported a mandate for health care as part of Massachusetts’ reform plan, has jumped on the “Obamacare” bandwagon.
The President & Democrats Gearing Up!
The general election campaign has not officially started but the president and his team are already planting seeds, especially when it comes to wooing women voters. The more the administration can tout what the new health care law means for women, the better for Team Obama.
Americans Still Don’t Know Enough About the Law
Despite all the talk about the law over the past three years, many Americans still don’t know its key components such as how it removes an insurance company’s ability to deny you coverage because of pre-existing conditions and how it allows young women and men to remain on their parent’s plan until age 26. The administration says it may not have been as “effective” as it could have been in explaining how the law helps everyday families but that appears to be changing. Check out the real stories on WhiteHouse.gov and HealthCare.gov -- personal accounts about how the new law changed Americans' lives.
What it Means for You?
So now that you know why health care is back in the news again, what does the law mean for you? Do you know some of the key components of the law? Do you know the provisions that focus on women and families? What would happen if it were repealed?
Stay tuned for some answers in our report on what we learned at the White House!