The implementation of the Affordable Care Act has been underway for a while now, but we are still in the early stages, with full implementation not scheduled until 2014. But, as 2011 gets going, it’s worth taking a look at what lies ahead. Brookings’ Henry Aaron comes to the rescue with an excellent piece outlining the various obstacles health reform implementation faces going forward.
There will be continued activity in the courts, all of which lays the foundation for what is ultimately expected to be a ruling by the Supreme Court. On this issue, Timothy Jost writes a great column about the most recent decision out of the Commonwealth of Virginia, that finds the individual mandate to be unconstitutional. One thing I learned from it was just how many cases had already been dismissed by federal judges (the answer is 14). You don’t hear about most of those in the news, so I had no idea.
De-funding is also a serious threat, and one that Ezra Klein suggests may already have happened with the passage of a continuing resolution. I think it’s still too early to see what effect this may have, or how much of a fight over the budget we’ll see in March, but how that plays out will go a long way towards the successful implementation of reform, or the complete undermining of the effort. Tumultuous times await us. Here’s hoping that the right people rise to the occasion and help us navigate them in 2011.