Supreme Court Rules Obamacare is Legal and The Law of the Land (5-4 decision)

| June 28, 2012 | 0 Comments

President Obama and the American people have just received affirmation from the highest court in the land that his controversial healthcare plan is in fact legal and now the law of the land. In a 5-4 decision today, The Supreme Court just upheld the Affordable Care Act as constitutional, affirming Congress’ authority to require Americans to purchase health insurance coverage. Republican candidate Mitt Romney has also stated that if he is elected in November, he would fight to have the law repealed. There are approximately 450 provisions in the bill and we will post a copy of it momentarily for our readers to review. Here are just a few to review:

  • Creates a public health insurance option and a national exchange for the uninsured and small businesses to purchase health insurance. The Secretary of Health and Human Services would negotiate rates with doctors and hospitals on reimbursement rates.
  • The bill includes mandates for individuals to purchase and businesses to provide health insurance or pay a fine. Individual penalty is 2.5 percent of gross income unless they get a waiver. Businesses that don’t offer insurance pay a fine equal to 8 percent of their payroll. Businesses with a payroll of less than $500,000 are exempt from the mandate.
  • Insurance companies are prohibited from denying coverage based on a pre-existing condition. There are caps on deductibles and annual out of pocket spending is capped at $5000.
  • Eliminates the Medicare doughnut hole over ten years.
  • Allows individuals up to 27-years-old to stay on their parent’s health insurance
  • Expands Medicaid from 100 percent to 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.
  • Provides tax subsidies for individuals between 150 and 400 percent (sliding scale) of the Federal Poverty Level. There are also tax subsidies for small businesses.
  • As amended, it prohibits federal funds from covering abortions. Women would need to purchase riders to insurance purchased on the exchange if they wanted that coverage.
  • The bill taxes individuals making more than $500,000 and $1 million for couples. It is a 5.4 percent tax.

“This definitely raises the stakes for November,” says Cheryl Smith, a director at health consulting firm Leavitt Partners. “That would be the last opportunity to elect a Congress that could put this back in the hands of a state.”

Repeal isn’t exactly easy: There would be a lot of procedural hurdles to overcome for a President Romney who wasn’t working with a supermajority in the Senate, and had to use reconciliation .  Administratively though, there’s decent leeway to move slowly on implementing the Affordable Care Act, or devote fewer resources to making sure it works than an Obama administration may have.

(Source: Washington Post)

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