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One of the singular promises made by President Obama when elected in 2008 was that “change” was destined to permeate the landscape of America. Certainly those within the discrete world of workers’ compensation have witnessed volumes of that “change” blossoming at many points throughout the practice. Several of the most salient varieties that have emerged within the past several years include healthcare reform, alternate dispute resolution, and immigration legislation.

The watchword of the 2012 election cycle has been “Obamacare.” Of course, this references the push at the national level to address the high cost of healthcare in America and the resultant drain on the U.S. economy. Washington’s official response—and arguably its most comprehensive effort—has been the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) in December 2009. At more than 2,500 pages and 500,000 words in length, the act is weighty in both actuality and intention, and it is regarded by many as the most dramatic maneuver to address healthcare in the U.S. since the adoption of Medicare and Medicaid in the 1960s.

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