The fate of the health insurance Affordable Care Act is currently in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Court heard arguments concerning the constitutionality of the law last month, during which Justices raised serious concerns about the law’s provisions. The health insurance mandate of the law hit a chord with some of the judges and has been a point of contention for most of this month. The concerns of Justices may be due to a fundamental misunderstanding of the provision. This misunderstanding could put the Affordable Care Act in jeopardy.
The insurance mandate requires all U.S. citizens to purchase and maintain some kind of health insurance coverage. The provision has been at the heart of the controversy surrounding the Affordable Care Act and is the most prominent focus of the law’s opponents. Opponents claim that the provision is a sign that Congress has overstepped its authority. The Obama administration, however, asserts that the health insurance mandate exists primarily to regulate commerce between the states, which is the responsibility of the Congress.
Paul Keckley, Chief of health research for Deloitte, a risk management and consulting firm, suggests that the Supreme Court may be confused as to what the insurance mandate means and how it factors into the rest of the Affordable Care Act. Keckley notes that the law would establish a system through which consumers could purchase policies based on a tier rating. Policies in the “bronze” tier, for instance, would be much more affordable than those of the “gold” tier. For the bronze tier, premiums would be lower than the current national average, but its policies would offer narrower coverage. Keckley claims that the Supreme Court may be overlooking this aspect of the insurance mandate.
The Court is expected to issue a ruling on the law in June. Speculation suggests that Justices have no love for the law in its current form, largely due to the health insurance mandate.