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Supreme Decision to Remember

Supreme Court Rules on Healthcare ReformToday (June 28, 2012) the U.S. Supreme Court provided the black smoke signal to this country that a decision was made on health reform… the Justices ruled 5 to 4 to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). With this ruling, the individual mandate requiring Americans to buy health insurance was deemed constitutional.

With the mandate surviving, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the law were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for expanding Medicaid or risk losing federal funding. Under this particular issue, the Court ruled that the federal government could not take away existing funding on states’ Medicaid program if states decline to accept the Medicaid expansion.

For Iowa employers?

There will be no impact on the existing implementation of PPACA for employers and plan sponsors. Employers will need to continue the process of activating the many provisions of PPACA, which includes the employer mandate (for employers with at least 50 equivalent full-time employees). There are many other provisions that remain unchanged, some already in place, while others have yet to be implemented.

The legal argument has now been decided, now the political battle will heat up this summer and become a monumental topic during our November elections. We have some clarity on this topic today, but opaqueness remains – at least during the last half of 2012.

The opinion upholding the individual mandate can be found here.

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