Several Scenarios: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court, and the 2012 Elections - What Does This Mean For Employers?

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Introduction and Summary

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) made significant changes to the nation’s health care system. Since its enactment, PPACA has been the subject of heated political opposition and numerous lawsuits. Many Republicans (including all major Republican presidential candidates) have vowed to work towards the repeal of PPACA. At the same time, PPACA has been the subject of dozens of lawsuits, most of which have centered around the law’s “individual mandate,” which requires individuals to maintain health insurance coverage or pay a penalty. The Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments on PPACA for March 26-28, with a ruling expected in the summer of 2012. The Supreme Court’s ruling on this issue and the 2012 presidential election may have a significant impact on how PPACA applies to large employers.

Background

PPACA, which President Obama signed into law on March 23, 2010, made significant changes to the private and public health insurance markets. Among the major provisions, PPACA requires most Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty, establishes American Health Benefits Exchanges for individuals and small businesses to purchase coverage, expands Medicaid eligibility, and reforms the private insurance market.

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