Health care reform after SCOTUS: Hard decisions needed to avoid health sector meltdown

Article Highlights

  • The #SCOTUS upheld most of the #ACA, giving the White House cause to breathe a sigh of relief.

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  • With one caveat, proponents claim that the #Obama health care reform will proceed as scheduled. Don’t bet on it. @JoeAntos

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  • The #SCOTUS may have settled some issues, but its decision opened up new areas of uncertainty. #ACA

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The Supreme Court upheld most of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), giving the White House cause to breathe a sigh of relief. The court ruled the individual mandate to buy insurance constitutional, requiring only that we call the penalty for noncompliance a tax. The only real setback was in Medicaid. The federal government’s threat to take away all Medicaid funding from a state that did not expand eligibility to everyone with incomes below 133% of the poverty level was declared coercive and unconstitutional. With that caveat, proponents claim that the Obama health care reform will proceed as scheduled.

Don’t bet on it. The Supreme Court may have settled some issues, but its decision opened up new areas of uncertainty. Will the renamed individual mandate penalty/tax be effective in leading both healthy and unhealthy people to buy insurance? Will states, facing serious fiscal problems, expand eligibility for Medicaid? More fundamentally, will the myriad changes called for by the ACA be implemented on time and with the impact promised by the White House? 

Read the full text here from the July/August issue of American Health and Drug Benefits or from the AHDB website here.

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About the Author

 

Joseph
Antos
  • Joseph Antos is the Wilson H. Taylor Scholar in Health Care and Retirement Policy at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where his research focuses on the economics of health policy — including the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, the uninsured, and the overall reform of the health care system and its financing. He also studies the impact of health care expenditures on federal budget policy.

    Before joining AEI, Antos was assistant director for health and human resources at the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). He has also held senior positions in the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of Management and Budget, and the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. He recently completed a seven-year term as health adviser to CBO, and two terms as a commissioner of the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission. In 2013, he was also named adjunct associate professor of emergency medicine at George Washington University.

    Antos has a Ph.D. and an M.A. in economics from the University of Rochester and a B.A. in mathematics from Cornell University.



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