Health Care Reform: The Initial Impact

After a nearly year-long process, sweeping health care reform legislation was approved by the U.S. Senate on December 24, 2009, and the U.S. House of Representatives on March 21, 2010. On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed this legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590) (the "Act"), into law.

On Sunday, the House also approved the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (H.R. 4872) (the "Reconciliation Act"), which amends several aspects of the Act. The Senate approved the Reconciliation Act, with minor revisions, on March 25, 2010. The House approved the Reconciliation Act, as revised, a few hours later. While many of the provisions of the Act and Reconciliation Act will gradually phase in or not be effective until 2014 or later, the Act and Reconciliation Act also contain several provisions that will have a more immediate impact because they are effective within the next year.

This Stroock Special Bulletin, which provides a brief summary of selected provisions of the Act and considers the impact of the Reconciliation Act, focuses on some of the most important provisions relating to employee benefits that are immediately (or soon-to-be) effective.