The U.S. Supreme Court chose to review the Florida case, which now includes 25 other states as plaintiffs, along with the National Federation of Independent Business.
The law has been controversial since it was passed by Congress and signed by Obama in March 2010. Poll after poll has found that Americans don't like the individual mandate. But a recent Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll revealed that people are starting to warm up to certain key provisions of the law -- such as the ban on insurance companies turning away applicants with preexisting health problems.
Some popular provisions -- including allowing children to stay on their parents' health plans until age 26 -- are already in place.
Other provisions meant to help older Americans began in 2011, with changes to continue through 2020.
Medicaid expansion a vital component of the law
States must comply with the Medicaid expansion no later than 2014. But some worry that a big influx of new enrollees could strain medical specialties such as obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics and family practice.
Dr. Peter Carmel, president of the American Medical Association, called the expansion "an important step in the right direction," even though many "physicians are currently unable to accept Medicaid patients due to low reimbursement rates."
Added Dr. Glen Stream, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians: "For the time being, [the new law] seems like the best option to get everyone covered with health insurance. Otherwise, people are carved out from good primary-care services, good preventive care and wellness services, and care of their chronic illnesses until sometimes it's too late."
The Supreme Court ruling is expected in June. The court could go one of several ways:
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