March 26th, 2012 – Today the United States Supreme Court convenes to decide the fate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and if it can require Americans to purchase health insurance.
If the requirement that Americans purchase health insurance is not upheld, then the US Supreme Court is also expected to decide whether the entire healthcare law will be struck down or just that portion of it requiring Americans to buy health insurance.
Legal scholars on the right and the left see the case as pivotal as to the Federal government’s influence on personal and state’s rights.
The argument in favor of the current health care law is that guaranteeing health insurance coverage for all regardless of pre-existing conditions requires that everyone get insurance, to spread the risk across a large enough group of people for costs to “fairly” shared. The argument against the law is that the government should not have the right to require people to purchase any product and that this amounts to a tax.
The Supreme Court is expected to make a ruling on the issue before the end of June.
While the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act expands access to health insurance it did little to reduce the underlying costs of healthcare that drive up out of pocket costs for consumers year after year.
It remains to be seen what will happen to health insurance plan costs if all new plans become guarantee issue in 2012. Many experts expect individual health insurance premiums in states like Colorado to increase.