Health Care Reform: Supreme Court Hearing

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At the end of March, the U.S. Supreme Court heard six hours of oral arguments regarding the health care reform law. At the center of the debate was the law’s individual mandate, which, beginning in 2014, will require all individuals to purchase health care insurance or pay a penalty.

Opponents of the law argue that an individual mandate is unconstitutional because it forces people to engage in commerce. Proponents maintain that health care is distinguished from other forms of commerce in that the health care costs associated with the uninsured impact everyone and demonstrate the economic effects of not purchasing health coverage.

The Justices are expected to release their decision sometime in June. Though difficult to predict, some potential outcomes include:


[rb_list type=”arrow”][rb_list_item]The Justices may decline to review the law, believing that the challenge is premature because the mandate has not taken effect.[/rb_list_item]

[rb_list_item]The Court may deem the law completely constitutional and uphold the entire law, allowing the changes to take effect in 2014.[/rb_list_item]

[rb_list_item]If the Court determines that the individual mandate is unconstitutional and an integral part of the law, they may strike it down completely.[/rb_list_item]

[rb_list_item]In a ruling that would likely see prices skyrocket, the Justices could determine that the individual mandate is unconstitutional and strike it down, leaving the rest of the law intact.[/rb_list_item]

[rb_list_item]Fearing the potential impact of striking down only the individual mandate, the Justices may choose to strike down the individual mandate and related provisions.[/rb_list_item][/rb_list]

This decision will have far-reaching effects on the health care industry. Customized Benefit Solutions, Inc. will monitor the law’s status and provide updates as information becomes available.