The U.S. Supreme Court has issued an opinion that upholds the Affordable Health Care Act

Thursday, Jun. 28th 2012 11:17 AM

The U.S. Supreme Court has issued an opinion that upholds the Affordable Health Care Act


This includes the individual mandate for coverage.  The case challenged the constitutionality of several parts of the law, including the rule that most people in the U.S. must get health coverage.   We will continue to carry out provisions of the law by thoughtfully implementing the new requirements for customers and members. We will also continue to look for ways to address increasing costs that are crippling our health care system, including: ·      Advancing our partnership with primary care physicians announced earlier this year that we believe will substantially improve quality and member health, and potentially reduce the trend in overall medical costs by as much as 20% by 2015. ·      Coordinating patient care through the use of IBM-Watson technology to promote evidence-based health care and ensure that millions of Americans receive the most effective courses of treatment.  We look forward to continuing our efforts to work with policymakers and other key stakeholders to build a health care delivery system that provides security and affordability to all Americans.

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Posted on Thursday, Jun. 28th 2012 11:17 AM | by Share of Cost | in Medi-Cal | 1 Comment »

One Comment on “The U.S. Supreme Court has issued an opinion that upholds the Affordable Health Care Act”

  1. Health Care Says:

    The US Supreme Court today upheld the core elements of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA), clearing a major hurdle toward implementation of the sweeping health care legislation. The act promises to extend insurance coverage to 33 million Americans, including 4 to 5 million Californians.

    With the legal uncertainty surrounding the law now put to rest, the state faces an aggressive timeline to prepare for the 2014 launch of its key provisions.

    The court upheld the individual mandate — requiring all Americans to either obtain health insurance or pay a tax. It did, however, limit the federal government’s ability to require states to expand their Medicaid programs, which cover low-income Americans. The decision allows the federal government to provide substantial financial support to states that choose to expand their Medicaid programs beginning in 2014, but prohibits the federal government from penalizing states that choose not to.

    “The court’s decision brings clarity to what had been a very murky situation,” says Marian Mulkey, director of the California HealthCare Foundation’s Health Reform and Public Programs Initiative. “But as the saying goes, we should not confuse a clear view with a short distance. There is a lot of work to be done in California under an aggressive timeline. Luckily, our state has already taken significant steps forward.”

    Officials will need to ensure that Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program, offers timely access to care; create a user-friendly enrollment process; and provide effective oversight of private insurance markets, Mulkey says. This challenge is intensified, she notes, by the backdrop of California’s struggles to maintain a balanced budget.

    In the wake of the court’s decision, uncertainty remains:

    Timely federal guidance will be needed if California is to meet the 2014 implementation goal. California policymakers must decide a number of important questions, including the definition of “essential health benefits” and whether or not to pursue the ACA’s Basic Health Program option.
    The results of the November election could cloud the future of the law if Republicans gain control of the White House and/or Congress. Many prominent Republicans have called for overturning the law.
    Health care spending continues to rise faster than the rest of the economy, and unless that trend is addressed, any gains in coverage and access under the ACA will be short-lived.

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