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In the midst of all the election coverage—the daily hoopla and scoring of who is up and who is down—it would be very possible to miss an extremely important court decision on the Affordable Care Act, regarding the contraceptive coverage mandate included in the law’s implementation rules.
Since the January 31 decision by the Florida court that struck down the entire Affordable Care Act as unconstitutional, there has been endless speculation about what the court ruling means and what will happen next. Some Attorneys General who were party to the lawsuit have asked for an expedited decision by the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the law; others have argued that Judge Vinson’s decision in Florida gives the states all the rationale they need to suspend implementation of the law in its entirety. The Senate held a vote on February 2 on the Republican proposal to repeal the law and not surprisingly, the repeal vote lost, 47 to 51 (Republicans voted unanimously for repeal). What is lost in all this focus on the legal and political strategy (especially: the theatrics) around the Affordable Care Act is what American consumers, businesses, and health care entities are actually saying about the law.