Affordable Care Act Declared Unconstitutional – No Big Deal For Now

Splashy headlines recently told us that the ACA (“Obamacare”) had been declared unConstitutional by a renegade Federal Judge in Texas - even though the US Supreme Court has already ruled to the contrary.

So…what impact will this have on us all?

                        1. The decision is for real, even though kind of wacky in its ‘reasoning’ - he basically said that since the individual mandate no longer has a penalty “tax” for individuals not buying health insurance, the whole entire 900+ pages of the law has to be thrown out.

                        2. The immediate impacts will depend on whether it is confirmed by a Circuit Court of Appeals and/or the Supreme Court. It may just sit out there with no legal impact for a few years while on appeal.

                        3. If it is confirmed by higher courts, what effect will this have?

 
*
about 17 to 20 million Americans will lose affordable health care. It’s a matter of good health, life and death for these people. And everything will go back to pre-ACA, when these millions relied on hospital emergency room treatment for any and all healthcare and we all paid for it with higher premiums to cover these costs.
 
*
the restraints in the ACA on uncontrolled price hikes will disappear - the cost of health care will rise more rapidly than it does now.
 
*
various consumer protection parts of the ACA will disappear - insurance even with pre-existing conditions, dependent coverage up to age 26, basic essential health care benefits in every policy (like drugs, doctor visits, hospital access, etc.). Insurance will go back to being a hodge podge of coverages, where every policy will have a different package of coverages.
 
*
For Union-sponsored Taft Hartley Plans, not much will change except costs going up more rapidly - Trustees will battle to keep these costs down, and this may mean some changes in benefits, but other than that, its impact may prove to be minimal - somewhat higher costs, somewhat changed benefits - nothing Trustees haven’t dealt with before.

Stay tuned to the Newsletter — we will bring you updates when necessary.

Bill Sokol | January 4, 2019

Legal Developments