Supreme court will be hearing the case this coming week.
In the meantime:
FRI MAR 23, 2012 AT 02:30 PM PDT
Health care anniversary: the Affordable Care Act begins its third year
President Obama's signature on the Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care is two years old as of Friday, making it a good time to take stock of what it's done so far, and how its implementation is proceeding.
Among the biggest accomplishments:
Twenty million women have received preventive services like mammograms and Pap smears without having to pony up co-pays.
Expand that to the whole population, and 54 million Americans got preventative services without copays, services that do save lives.
More than 2.5 million young people have insurance, by being able to stay on their parents' plans until they are 26.
Nearly four million seniors saved almost $2.16 billion through discounts for their prescription medications in 2011.
The pre-existing insurance plan (PCIP) has extended insurance to 50,000 formerly uninsured and uninsurable people with pre-existing conditions.
Actually, that last one is both an accomplishment and a disappointment. For those it has helped, like Marlys Lenz Cox, it has been a "life-line." But, largely because of state interference in some instances, as well as barriers of cost and a 6-month waiting period mandated by Congress in the law, the program has drastically underperformed expectations.
Encouragingly, every state in the union but one are actively implementing laws and rules to make sure that insurance companies in their states provide preventative services without co-pays, and extend insurance to young people on their parents' plan. The one state that's not? Crazy Jan Brewer's Arizona.
Implementation of the state exchanges, which will be law beginning in 2014, is less encouraging with nearly half of states either continuing to explore their options in creating exchanges (many waiting for the outcome of the Supreme Court challenge to the law) or doing nothing.
Despite the states' resistance to begin setting up the exchanges pre-SCOTUS decision, the fact that 49 of them are actually implementing the market reforms expanding insurance coverage and preventative services without co-pays means that, at the very least, some of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act will remain in effect, even if the Court strikes down the individual mandate. Having implemented these popular programs, it will be very hard for states to backtrack.