By a 5 to 4 decision, Chief Justice John Roberts read the long-awaited opinion, stating the entire bill could be upheld under a taxing clause but not under the commerce law. The commerce law regulates business from state to state, however, since the penalty is paid to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the law was upheld under the taxing clause.
The Individual Mandate
In March 2010, President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. It has been referred to the signature piece of Obama’s administration. The ruling is a “win-win” for the Obama administration. The plan requires each person to have insurance coverage, known as the individual mandate, which has been the centerpiece of the healthcare plan.
Those who opposed the mandate have argued it is unconstitutional to make an individual purchase health care insurance. Whereas, those who support the mandate argued it is similar to auto or flood insurance, which individuals are required to purchase no matter their income levels or employment status.
Failure to Obtain Coverage
The individual mandate will become effective in 2014. If a person does not have coverage through his or her employer, Medicare or Medicaid, he or she will be responsible to pay a penalty. The government promises to assist low-income family households with a stipend to help pay for coverage.
Other Key Parts of the Plan
In addition to the individual mandate, there are other key parts of the plan:
- You may be able to receive preventive services at no cost, which means no co-payments for routine services;
- Insurance companies will cover people with preexisting sicknesses;
- Lifetime insurance limits and annual benefits will be prohibited;
- Insurance plans will now cover children up to the age of 26; and
- The plan also will increase the income limitations for the Medicaid program, which is an insurance program administered by the states insuring low-income individuals.
As of now, the healthcare plan will be fully implemented going forward. Mitt Romney has told his supporters, “If it is deemed to stand, then I’ll tell you one thing, we’re going to have to have a president – and I’m that one – that’s going to get rid of Obamacare. We’re going to stop it on day one.”
So for now, we have to wait and see!
Remember, Your Choice, Your Future!