It’s Decision Time For Health Care Reform
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) represents the most sweeping overhaul of the current health care system, and right now, it’s in the hands of the nation’s highest court.
This month, the Supreme Court is expected to issue a landmark decision on the constitutionality of the ACA . The act became law in 2010, but the most controversial aspect of the law—the individual mandate—doesn’t go into effect until January 2014. This mandate requires that almost all adult Americans purchase health insurance. For those who opt out of coverage, a financial penalty or tax would be imposed. (Today, an estimated 50 million Americans are uninsured.)
Also up for debate is the law’s requirement for states to comply with an expansion to Medicaid to cover more lower-income people without health insurance.
So basically, the justices are expected to rule on these two burning questions: Can the government make people buy health insurance? If not, should the entire law be nullified?
Supporters say millions of American are already benefitting from portions of the law, including:
• More than 5.1 million people with Medicare have saved more than $2.1 billion on prescription drugs in 2011 alone.
• An estimated 2.5 million young adults have received coverage on their parents’ plans until age 26.
•An estimated 54 million with private insurance now have expanded coverage of preventative services.
Critics are skeptical of those numbers and say the negative consequences outweigh the positive ones. They also argue that the law forces new costs onto employers, which could cause many to stop providing insurance to workers. And they say that the mandate violates basic constitutional principles of individual freedom and limited government.
A final decision is expected to come from the Supreme Court around the end of June. Whatever the outcome, it will profoundly affect millions of Americans. Here at Sprig Health, we’re holding firm to our belief that everyone deserves access to affordable health care and doing our part to help make it happen. As this debate continues, we’ll be following it closely and encourage you to do the same.
How do you think the Supreme Court will rule—and how do you think it will impact you? We’d love to hear your comments below.