2011 was supposed to be a bad year for President Obama’s health care law, with House Republicans taking aim and federal lawsuits snaking their way through the judiciary. And although the House of Representatives has had limited success in dismantling the overhaul, key portions began to unravel all by themselves.
Here’s a look at the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s year in review.
– Jan. 14: Kansas announces its intention to become the 26th state to file suit against the federal government to stop implementation of the health care overhaul.
– Jan. 19: The House of Representatives votes to repeal the health care law.
– Jan. 26: Illinois-based pharmaceutical company Abbott Labs cuts 1,900 jobs “in response to changes in the health-care industry, including U.S. health-care reform and the challenging regulatory environment.”
– Jan. 31: A second federal district judge rules that the law is unconstitutional.
– Feb. 2: All 47 Republican senators vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but the measure fails.
– Feb. 16: Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testifies before the Senate Finance Committee and admits that the CLASS Act, a key portion of the law that was touted as a $70 billion savings, is “totally unsustainable.” But not to worry: Sebelius says her department has the authority to rework the legislation to make CLASS tenable.
– Feb. 18: The House votes to block federal funding to implement the Affordable Care Act. The Congressional Budget Office also estimates that repealing the law would add $210 billion to the combined federal deficits from 2012 to 2021.
– Feb. 22: A federal judge tosses a lawsuit claiming that the Affordable Care Act violates the liberties of those who choose to rely on God to protect and heal them instead of buying health insurance.
– March 3: The House votes to end an unpopular tax paperwork-filing requirement for businesses tucked into the health care law.
– March 23: The law turns one year old. On the same day, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce finds that the temporary Early Retirement Reinsurance Program will spend its allotted $5 billion far earlier than its Jan. 1, 2014 expiration date.