Health Reform CornerOriginally Published in RMP Advisor, Summer 2012
Most people believed that Obamacare would be declared unconstitutional because of the individual mandate. Never before has the federal government compelled all of its citizens to purchase a product (in this case health insurance) in the private market — or face a financial penalty (or tax) if one does not comply.
The Supreme Court determined that the individual mandate is legal under the taxing authority of the federal government. Read my opinions about the ruling, and speculation that Chief Justice John Roberts did not want the case decided along “perceived” political lines. Employers cannot sit back, so our advice is to “Proceed With Caution,” because the final chapter has not yet been written.
Chief Justice Roberts’ opinion describes that it’s the responsibility of the legislative branch (i.e., Congress) to make law, and not the judicial branch’s purview. If the American people want to repeal or change Obamacare, the way to do that is by electing a new President and a Congress that will enact the desired legislation. That opportunity arrives next in November. Stay tuned.
If you want to read more about healthcare reform, here are some interesting links:
- Supreme Court Opinion, NFIB v. Sebelius (full transcript)
- After the Ruling: A Consumer’s Guide (Kaiser Health News)
- States Opting Out of Medicaid Expansion Could Leave Many Uninsured (CBSNews.com)
- Supreme Court’s Decision Puts Pressure on Employers to Implement Health Law’s Provisions or Face Penalties, Says Mercer (Insurance Broadcasting)
- How to Replace Obamacare (Economic Policies for the 21st Century)