Mary Agnes Carey and Jenny Gold: “Now that President Barack Obama has won a second term, the Affordable Care Act is back on a fast track. Some analysts argue that there could be modifications to reduce federal spending as part of a broader deficit deal; for now, this is just speculation. What is clear is that the law will have sweeping ramifications for consumers, state officials, employers and health care providers, including hospitals and doctors. While some of the key features don’t kick in until 2014, the law has already altered the health care industry and established a number of consumer benefits. Here’s a primer on parts of the law already up and running, what’s to come and ways that provisions could still be altered.”
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