What do you regard as the most important factor in the health care debate? If I wade into this question, would you prefer to hear more about what the public thinks, what the likely outcomes ahead may be–or what the law itself is likely to accomplish going forward?

What people believe about the likely impact of a given piece of legislation can be markedly different from its actual impact. It seems likely that the Affordable Care Act, if fully implemented, will end up creating benefits for a great deal more than the 18 percent of Americans who think it will based on the new Kaiser Family Foundation poll.

Also, what people want to happen can also be very different from what will happen. At the present juncture, Congress and the White House have very little to say about the future implementation of the health care law; that’s much more the province of the courts.

These subtleties are really important if you are planning for the impact of this law on your business–or if you are thinking about campaigning or voting for or against this law.

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