Supreme Court Decision on Health Care Reform Law
From your Benefit Advisors at Bollinger:
Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated decision on the health care reform law. The law's individual mandate, which requires individuals to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty beginning in 2014, was the main focus of the legal challenge.
- Constitutionally of the Individual Mandate. The court has decided the individual mandate is a "tax" and thereby constitutional. It ruled that Congress was within its authority to require that all Americans have health insurance coverage using its power of taxation.
- The Anti-Injunction Act. The justices determined that it wasn't too soon to decide the case because of the Anti-Injunction Act, a federal law that requires a tax to be collected before it can be challenged in court. Since the Court voted to uphold the individual mandate and Medicaid expansion provisions of the law, the question of whether or not these provisions of the law are severable is moot.
- Severability. The justices heard oral arguments centered on whether the individual mandate could be severed from the rest of the law if the Court found it unconstitutional. Since the Court upheld the mandate, it didn't have to make a decision regarding severability.
- Medicaid. Finally, the Court determined that the ACA's expansion of Medicaid is lawful as long as the government doesn't penalize states that decide not to participate in the new program by taking away their existing Medicaid funding.
The rest of the health care reform law will continue to be implemented by the Federal & State government. However, it is possible that other legal challenges to the health care reform law may arise, or that changes may be made to the law through the legislative process.
At Bollinger we maintain our commitment to monitoring the changing healthcare reform law and how it directly affects our clients and their employees. We will continue to build viable and sustainable employee benefit portfolios for every situation and provide exemplary services to assist our clients in today's market.
Bollinger offers the above information for the education of our clients. The information provided is a general summary and is not intended to be, nor should it be treated as tax, legal or accounting advice.