Alert
Close

Celebrate Black History Month and receive 25% off membership dues. Learn More

HIGHLIGHTS

Open

learning centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.


Arthritis

Heart Disease

Diabetes

Most Popular

Viewed

Health Care Law Is Up and Running Even as the Political Battle Rages

Could challenges roll back new benefits?

Over the first year of the law's life, public opinion has not changed significantly, with more Americans, especially Republicans, still disapproving than favoring it. Yet 55 percent oppose the Republican idea of cutting off funding for it, compared with 35 percent in favor, according to a recent CBS News poll.

"There's a lot of skepticism, and you can't answer it because it won't be until 2015 that we'll even know what the major effects will be." — Robert Blendon

"There's confusion," says Blendon, attributing this mostly to the law's main provisions not going into effect for several more years. "Medicare was in effect one year after it was enacted. So you could like Medicare or not, but a year later it was running, doctors were being paid and millions of people had access — it was a reality in life." But people who oppose the health reform law "are worried about its future impact," he adds. "There's a lot of skepticism, and you can't answer it because it won't be until 2015 that we'll even know what the major effects will be."

Before then, the law's ultimate fate could be decided by two events — the 2012 general election and, even earlier, the Supreme Court's ruling on the act's constitutionality. Blendon predicts that if the court holds that the requirement for everybody to have insurance is unconstitutional but allows the rest of the law to stand, Americans will remain strongly divided. But if there's a clear vote — better than a 5-4 split — upholding the constitutionality of the whole law, "then I think it would shift the weight of opinion closer to the president."

Patricia Barry is a senior editor at the AARP Bulletin.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Advertisement

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Member Benefits AT&T Wireless Cell Phone

Members save 10% on the monthly service charge of qualified AT&T wireless plans.

Member Benefit AARP Regal 2

Members pay $9.50 for Regal ePremiere Tickets purchased online.

Walgreens 1 discount membership aarp

Members earn points on select Walgreens-brand health and wellness products.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points

Advertisement