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As Health Care Reform Turns 1, Backers and Detractors Dig In
Date:3/23/2011

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, March 23 (HealthDay News) -- The Affordable Care Act turns 1 year old on Wednesday, and the health-care reform package -- the centerpiece of President Barack Obama's first term in office -- remains as controversial as the day it was signed into law.

"The worst law ever enacted in the United States," said Greg Scandlen, director of Consumers for Health Care Choices, a national nonprofit group that says it seeks to "empower health-care consumers to preserve individual freedom and the quality of care in America's health-care system."

Scandlen believes most people should provide for their own health insurance, preferably with money from their employer and money they set aside for themselves.

On the opposite side of the fence is Kathleen D. Stoll, director of Health Policy at Families USA, who acknowledges that "we do have this debate about the Affordable Care Act and its merits, [but] people need to understand what is coming in 2014 and, if they do, they are really going to be happy about it."

"A lot of this is electoral rhetoric," said Stoll, who doesn't think Republicans in Washington can make good on election day pledges to repeal the law -- at least as the current Congress is constituted with Democrats in charge of the Senate and the GOP controlling the House of Representatives.

Although the full impact of the law won't be felt until 2014, legal challenges are keeping federal appeals courts busy and the legislation's ultimate fate will probably be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Much of the controversy surrounding the law, which was designed to bring affordable health insurance to most Americans, centers on the so-called "individual mandate," which requires all Americans not already insured to purchase health insurance or face a fine.

Only 22 percent of Americans support the provision, according to a March 1 Harris Interactive/Health
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