Supreme Court expected to issue ruling on the health care law in June
Next month, the fate of the Affordable Care Act is expected to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. The national health care law was brought to the court after 26 states and several insurance and medical organizations rose up in protest. The Justices of the court heard arguments concerning the law late last month, calling into question how the law will affect the country’s citizens. The Affordable Care Act is often criticized for the changes it is bringing to the health insurance industry, particularly in that the law requires all people to purchase and maintain health insurance policies. Changes to the law, or its abolishment, could have sweeping and scarcely understood implications of the country.
Little-known provision could have sweeping implications
Members of Congress and the Supreme Court currently enjoy access to the best health insurance benefits that are available. This fact has been dragged into the limelight in the past, which has led to modest cuts in the benefits offered to federal legislators and Court Justices. Nonetheless, these benefits far outstrip those available to the majority of U.S. citizens, in terms of quality. The Affordable Care Act contains a simple provision that has gotten little attention. If the law were upheld, this provision could have a powerful impact on the country’s health insurance industry.
Federal lawmakers may be required to find coverage at health insurance exchanges
According to the provision, federal lawmakers and members of Congress would no longer have access to the government’s health insurance plans. Instead, these government officials would be required to purchase plans from health insurance exchanges, which are to be associated with every state. Currently, the federal government spends more than $50 billion on health insurance plans for these lawmakers. The provision may mean that this money would be free for the government to use elsewhere, as lawmakers would be purchasing insurance policies through the exchanges of the states they represent.
Provision could spell major gains for insurance industry
The provision excludes one group of federal officials: Justices of the Supreme Court. The court may choose to uphold the law but make changes to its provisions, of which the aforementioned provision is expected to remain intact. If this is the case, the swarm of federal employees that would be required to purchase coverage through health insurance exchanges could translate into serious profits for the insurance industry.