For some of us in Washington, watching President Obama’s State of the Union Address last night was about waiting to see what he would say about the health care law. Given the law’s mixed reviews among Americans, it wasn’t too much of a surprise that the entire speech went by with almost no mention of health care. Obama did make clear he would not go back to a time when insurance companies could cancel an individual’s coverage, but a larger defense of the controversial law was missing.
While this means that health care might not play a huge role in the Obama campaign’s platform for 2012, health reform is by no means a thing of the past. The coming year promises to be an exciting one for the new law as the Supreme Court examines the constitutionality of the law and implementation of State Health Exchanges gets under way. Undoubtedly, the law will continue to face a beating from the Republican presidential candidates as they make promises to repeal the law immediately upon taking office.
In the coming months, the talk in Washington will be about what happens if the law is repealed. How much of the law will actually be thrown out by the Supreme Court and if the entire law is thrown out then what happens to the parts that have already been implemented. It is hard to know the answers to these questions this early in the game, but it will an interesting year trying to figure it all out.