Supreme Court Rules Health Care Reform Law is Constitutional

The U.S. Supreme Court this morning ruled in a 5-4 decision that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s signature legislative accomplishment of his presidency, and the legislation’s individual mandate are constitutional. The court’s decision affirms the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land.

Florida, along with 19 other states, has led courtroom challenges of the law since its March 2010 passage by arguing that the individual mandate provision, which would require Americans to buy health insurance, was not constitutional because it requires citizens to engage in commerce. This morning, Chief Justice John Roberts, a George W. Bush appointee, and four fellow justices sided with the Obama administration and agreed the mandate was a tax, and acknowledged the government’s right to tax individuals differently.

What does health care reform mean to you?

As it relates to the home care industry, the Affordable Care Act included the creation of accountable care organizations and increased Medicaid eligibility in the states, thus increasing the number of Medicaid-eligible individuals, as well as the government’s ability to impose stricter anti-health care fraud measures, including moratoriums. It also included $40 billion in reimbursement cuts and calls for rebasing of home health reimbursement rates.

Now that the Affordable Care Act has been upheld by the highest court in the nation, the federal government and states will proceed with implementation of health care reform.

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