Supreme Court Issues Decision on the Affordable Care – Immediate Implications for Health Care Industry

by Ropes & Gray LLP
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In the United States Supreme Court’s historic decision announced today, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) has emerged substantially intact as the blueprint for national health reform in the coming years. The Court upheld the “individual mandate,” preserving the key counterweight to the ACA’s requirement that insurers guarantee the issue of health care coverage. The Court also upheld the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, but ruled that the Secretary of Health and Human Services may not exercise the power granted her in the ACA to deny Medicaid funding to States choosing not to participate in the expansion. All of the remaining benefits and requirements of the ACA were left whole by the Court. An analysis of the constitutional law implications of the decision will be provided in our companion Alert tomorrow.

For health care industry stakeholders, the Court’s affirmation of the constitutionality of the major elements of the ACA finally provides clarity and direction on the fate of federal health care reform. Although efforts to repeal the ACA may continue, and some states may decide not to implement the now-voluntary Medicaid expansion, federal regulators and many state governments will now push ahead with ACA implementation. Health care providers, insurers and managed care plans, pharmaceutical and device manufacturers and employers will proceed in their efforts to prepare for the reforms and comply with the numerous requirements of the law.

Please see full alert below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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