Shortly after a federal judge in Virginia ruled that an individual insurance mandate is unconstitutional, administration officials began preparing for the case to reach the Supreme Court.
But that's months away.
In the meantime, officials are preparing to defend the law against House Republicans who are set on undoing it. Health secretary Kathleen Sebelius has a message for incoming Republicans who campaigned on repealing the new health care law: There's no going back.
"We can't return to the days when over the last 10 years insurance charges went up 131 percent and people had less coverage and less options. Repealing the health care law would roll back the Patients Bill of Rights," Sebelius says.
That includes things like not being denied coverage if you have a preexisting condition.
The law was set up like a stack of cards: Remove one component, and it all may come toppling down. That's why Sebelius says policy makers set up the individual mandate that's being successfully challenged in the courts by Virginia Republicans.
"We need a balanced pool so that only the folks who are sick are not the only ones in the insurance market. It's like...allowing people to buy car insurance only after they have a wreck. That market would, I think, quickly disintegrate and dissolve," she says.
House Republicans are already preparing for hearings on the law and theyre also looking to defund parts of it now that they'll be in charge of spending bills.