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If Obama's health law survives, it will take nearly a decade to put into effect

Chicago Tribune / Associated Press, March 13, 2012

It took only a year to set up Medicare. But if President Barack Obama's healthcare law survives Supreme Court scrutiny, it will be nearly a decade before all its major pieces are in place. And that means even if Obama is re-elected, he won't be in office to oversee completion of his signature domestic policy accomplishment, assuming Republicans don't succeed in repealing it. The law's carefully orchestrated phase-in is evidence of what's at stake in the Supreme Court deliberations. Despite the political rhetoric about what "Obamacare" is doing to the nation, only a fraction of the law is in effect.