The much anticipated decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was announced today. Tens of thousands of Americans were glued to their television, live reports, news articles, blogs and the twitter accounts of political figures, awaiting the final healthcare ruling. For instance, the social media site twitter was buzzing with information on the healthcare reform law.
The decision announced by Supreme Court justices supports the majority of the provisions under the Affordable Care Act. The only measure that was struck down dealt with penalties for state Medicaid expansion.
In a 5-4 vote, the justices approved of the individual insurance mandate. This means that all Americans will have to purchase health insurance by 2014 and states need to implement insurance exchanges.
The justices supported the individual mandate on condition that the penalty is considered a tax. This absolves Congress from the Commerce Clause in the Constitution.
Why does the Supreme Court’s ruling on the healthcare reform law make me happy? There are several reasons. For women in their 40’s and up, getting an annual mammogram is recommended. With the PPACA, these women will no longer have to provide co-pays and their insurance companies will handle all costs of preventive services.
On top of this good news, the former pre-existing conditions clause with many health insurers is not allowed under the PPACA. Another wonderful benefit of this law is that many elderly citizens are saving money on prescription drug coverage because the lifetime limits on their prescription medication coverage have been lifted. As for young U.S. citizens that don’t have the opportunity to purchase health insurance, all those under 26 years of age are qualified to stay under their parent’s coverage.
Clearly there are many positives of the PPACA and the Supreme Court likely made the right decision. Today’s Thanksgiving Thursday is devoted to the Supreme Court, which I thank for supporting the healthcare reform law. As for the future of PPACA, only time will tell where the healthcare sector will go next.