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Supreme Impact: The Decision and What it means for Employers, the Exchange and Health Reform Moving Forward

Illinois Chamber of Commerce reports:

“The Supreme Court decision handed down on June 28 (click here for a summary of the key decision points) provided both clarity and confusion in a legal parsing that filled nearly 200 pages; a little less than a quarter of the size of the pages that comprise the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The decision was not immune to the controversy and debate that has shrouded the health coverage reform law since long before it was even enacted. The Supreme Court, however, was not asked to weigh in on the merits of the law as a solution to this country‚Äôs health access and affordability problems, but rather weigh in on whether the solution before it did indeed pass constitutional muster. Five of the nine justices concluded it did, not because Congress possessed the authority to force individuals to engage in commerce (purchase health insurance), but rather because Congress has the constitutional authority to tax and spend in order to “provide for . . . the general Welfare of the United States.”

The decision to uphold the ACA was the modern day equivalent of a

Marbury vs. Madison; exciting stuff for students of constitutional law and U.S. history, but cold comfort for those left to figure out how this all really falls into place in the end. Now that the ACA has dodged a sizable legal bullet, it now finds itself on politically shaky ground; ground zero for the battle over the White House in 2014.

In the meantime, employers, insurers, providers, consumers, states, and other stakeholders must prepare for the multitude of changes the ACA will bring to the health coverage system in 2014 regardless of who wins the November election.”

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