What to think and what to do? As the nation awaits the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare reform bill passed by Congress and signed into law by Pres. Obama on March 23, 2010, CareShare Network looks at what’s at stake in the challenges to the law. We also take a look at the changes the law will implement.
According to the New York Times in “Health Care Reform and the Supreme Court (Affordable Care Act),” the challenges to the healthcare law hinge primarily on the individual health insurance mandate, which will require US residents to either purchase coverage or pay a penalty. Assessments for penalties will begin in 2014 to be paid through 2015 tax returns. The government argues that the compulsory component of the law must stand because insurers will only provide coverage to all applicants without regard for preexisting medical conditions because of the mandate.
The Supreme Court is addressing three other questions:
- Should the court wait for the penalty to be levied in 2014 and paid in 2015 before considering any lawsuits?
- What other parts of the law should be upheld or discarded if the Court strikes down the mandate?
- Can the federal government require the states to expand their Medicaid rolls by raising the eligibility thresholds in order to offer health insurance coverage to more low-income families?
It also creates health exchanges for individuals who must purchase policies in the individual market. The exchanges will provide information on private insurance options. Some individuals will receive subsidies based on their income levels to purchase policies available in the individual market through the exchanges.