What Does the Affordable Care Act Mean for our Community?
The Supreme Court ruled that all provisions of the Affordable Care Act are constitutional. On a 5-4 vote, with Chief Justice Roberts voting with the majority, the court ruled that the individual mandate is constitutional – not based on the constitution’s commerce clause but on its conclusion that requiring people to obtain health insurance falls within Congress’ taxing authority.
Even though the court ruled the entire law constitutional, it concluded that the terms of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion amounted to overreaching on the federal government’s part. As a reminder, the law called for expanding Medicaid eligibility for all individuals under the age of 65 – including children, pregnant women, parents, and adults without dependent children – with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level.
The court ruled that the federal government did not have the authority to require states to comply with the reform law’s Medicaid expansion provisions or lose all federal Medicaid matching funds. Under the law, states were to have received 100 percent federal funding for newly eligible individuals from 2014 through 2016. States will now have the option of expanding Medicaid eligibility, and those that choose not to, will not lose their ordinary Medicaid matching funds.
Statement from Pocono Health System/Pocono Medical Center in Response to U.S. Supreme Court’s Affordable Care Act Decision:
““Prior to the Affordable Care Act becoming law, Pocono Health System/Pocono Medical Center took steps to strengthen the link between quality outcomes and payments, our health information technology infrastructure, medical homes, and other initiatives to improve the effectiveness and coordination of health care services. Our team has and will always remain committed to selecting best practices and patient care processes to continuously enhance the quality and services we provide. Since the Affordable Care Act became law, we have positioned our health system to meet the needs of our community while also addressing the specific standards set forth. We have said all along that we will strive to do the right thing and implement the changes that align with providing world-class care, close to home. We will continue to work with The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) and policymakers at both the state and federal level to continue reforming and improving the health care delivery system as we seek to build a healthier community.”
To learn more about the Affordable Care Act and how it applies to you, families with children, individuals with health conditions, and small businesses, please visit Healthcare.gov.
Information provided by the following sources: DeBrunner & Associates, The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, and Healthcare.gov.