Friday, June 29, 2012

Reaction to "Obamacare" Ruling

Here are responses from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Council of NY State and the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce regarding yesterday's ruling.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce statement on SCOTUS health care ruling

Jun 28, 2012

by Bill Stroh

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue released the following statement today after the Supreme Court issued its ruling upholding the entire health care law as constitutional.

“While we respect the Court’s decision, today’s Supreme Court ruling does not change the reality that the health care law is fundamentally flawed. Left unchanged, it will cost many Americans their employer-based health insurance, undermine job creation, and raise health care costs for all.

“It is imperative that policymakers and the business community now work together to develop and support genuine reforms that control costs, improve access, ensure quality, and promote wellness. These reforms and goals are achievable. The Chamber and the American business community are ready to go to work to enact true health care reform. Given the Court’s decision, the need for action has never been greater.”

The Chamber’s public policy law firm, the National Chamber Litigation Center (NCLC), filed an amicus brief in the case urging the Supreme Court to strike down the entire law if the individual mandate were held unconstitutional. The Chamber did not take a position on the constitutionality of the mandate. To read the Chamber’s amicus brief and the Supreme Court’s opinion, please visit the National Chamber Litigation Center website: http://www.chamberlitigation.com.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.
Business Council of NY State
NY impact of Obamacare ruling

Jun 28, 2012

by Bill Stroh

E.J. McMahon

New York is probably less affected than most states by today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision. The court effectively has said that almost all of Affordable Care Act (ACA) passes constitutional muster. This means the entire country can now experience the effects of the sort of regulatory policies (such as guaranteed issue, community rating and mandated coverages) that have done much to make health insurance so costly here, with the added element of a government-administered “exchange” from which people lacking health insurance will be required to buy it (or pay a penalty, effectively redefined by the court as a tax).

In upholding the individual mandate provision, the U.S. Supreme Court also ruled that states can’t be threatened with the loss of all their federal Medicaid funding if they choose not to expand their Medicaid programs along the lines authorized under the Affordable Care Act. But New York already has a more expansive Medicaid program than most — and as a practical matter, given our politics, to the extent the feds are willing to underwrite a further expansion of New York’s program (assuming the ACA survives in the next Congress), we will no doubt happily opt into it.

From MCC Service Provider, Eric Robinson , PSC Insurance

Sad to say but health insurance is a law of numbers, especially in New York. We have community rating where the young and healthy subsidize the older population. This subsidy is becoming increasingly burdensome as both our population ages and healthcare services are experiencing double-digit increases We have a progressive system and have already passed 10 major protections outlined in Obama care into state law. (These protections would have held in the year regardless of what the Supreme Court did).

The below list is insurance reform, not healthcare reform. It closes many of the loopholes that carriers used to not pay claims.

Carriers may not drop patients once they get sick
They must cover children with pre-existing conditions
No annual or lifetime coverage dollar limits for medical benefits or prescription drug coverage
Plans must provide access to OB/GYN care
Birth control is covered on the same basis as men’s health care
Plans must cover preventive care with no co-pays
The insured can choose their primary care doctors and pediatricians (within the network, if there is one)
Same co-pay for emergency room services in or out of network
Parents are able to keep young adults on their plan to age 26

The two biggest changes for New Yorkers are these:

They now will be required to purchase health insurance if the can afford it, or pay a fine if they choose not to.

Basically the Supreme Court defined this fiscal penalty as a tax and we certainly know that Washington knows how to levy taxes.

Insurance carriers will not be able to turn down coverage for adults, even when they have pre-existing medical conditions.

For the 40 states that have not already adopted all of the new requirements, major changes will take place.

More will become clear as the details of this law are worked out, but a lot of interpretation will be involved. 2,800 pages of federal code will become tens of thousands of pages of rules and regulations in 50 different states. It will be fun.

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