Whether you are for it, against it, or a little bit of both – there is no denying the fact that today’s Supreme Court decision upholding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act marks a historic day for the United States.
Despite all the recent news and political lobbying, there are undoubtedly Americans who still are confused by the massive, intricate health reform law. No worries, we’ve got you covered.
Today’s health reform ruling, in summary:
- Nearly all of the complex law was upheld. This includes the highly controversial individual mandate, which requires by law that all Americans purchase health insurance coverage, or pay a fine. The individual mandate has now officially been described and categorized as a tax by the Supreme Court.
- The decision was upheld in a 5-4 decision. The four dissenters were not happy with the decision, making it clear that if they had the majority, they would have invalidated the law in its entirety.
- The only part of the PPACA that was not upheld was a provision about Medicaid. The law gave power to the federal government to deprive states of their Medicaid funding if they did not comply with health reform laws requiring them to expand their Medicaid coverage. Chief Justice Roberts explained that Congress is not free to “penalize States that choose not to participate in that new program by taking away their existing Medicaid funding.”
Here are some other major changes:
- Insurers prevented from excluding or denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions
- Young adults can remain on parents’ health insurance plan until 26
- All plans required to cover preventive care
- No lifetime limits on coverage
Visit Healthcare.gov for a complete, detailed account of all the key provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
If you have the gusto, feel free to read all the opinions here.