No changes in U.S. health care while court decides
WASHINGTON • Nothing much changes for Americans' medical care while the Supreme Court mulls the fate of President Barack Obama's health care law.
The wait might take three months. Decisions can come anytime, but complex cases argued in the spring often emerge near the end of the session, in late June.
In the meantime, parts of the law already in effect won't change. That includes the provision that lets young adults stay on their parents' insurance until they turn 26 and a requirement that health plans cover preventive care without charging a co-pay.
States will continue planning the insurance markets, called "exchanges," that the law tells them to set up for small businesses and people buying private coverage individually.
The big constitutional questions before the court the mandate that everyone have health insurance and the expansion of the Medicaid program for the poor are among provisions not scheduled to take effect until 2014.
All the law's provisions, including those already in effect, are in jeopardy. The court could throw out the entire act, select parts if it finds violations of the Constitution, or uphold the entire law.