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Health Care Reform Legislation

March 25, 2010

We are watching the progress of the Health Care Reform Legislation along with most of the rest of the country. The basic legislation which is included in the bill known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act 9 ("PPACA") was passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the president on March 23, 2010. A separate bill known as the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 is still pending and if this legislation is enacted into law, it will change some of the provisions of the PPACA.

When the fate of the Reconciliation Act is finally determined, we will fully analyze the provisions that affect group health plans and provide a series of advisories. We will begin with the changes that will be required during the first year after enactment and follow up with the changes that will go into effect in later years.

PPACA has caused a tremendous amount of controversy in this country. The proponents of the legislation say that this is a necessary first step in reforming the system. The opponents say that it will cause the end of Western Civilization as we know it. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle and we will attempt to analyze and advise you of the requirements of the new law rather than the wisdom of the legislation.

Some of the provisions of the new law will go into effect in the next twelve months. Other provisions become effective in 2014. Our next advisory will focus in the changes that will be required in the next 12 months.

If you have any questions in the meantime, please feel free to contact any of the members of our Employee Benefits Practice Team.

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