The U.S. Justice Department has joined the call from 26 states and the National Federation of Independent Business for the Supreme Court to take up the issue of the federal insurance mandate that will be enacted in 2014. The mandate is part of the Affordable Care Act health care law brings major changes to the nation’s health care system. Now that the Justice Department has involved itself, the Supreme Court is likely to hear the case and reach a conclusion on the matter by the middle of 2012.
The health insurance mandate has been a point of contention even before the health care law was passed last year. The law states that every U.S. citizen must have some form of health insurance by 2014 or risk paying fines for their lack of coverage. While many states have risen up in opposition of the insurance mandate, it isn’t because they believe the mandate is too overbearing, it is that the federal government is imposing the mandate. Representatives from the 26 states believe that the power to impose such a mandate lies with the state and not the federal government.
How the mandate will affect the insurance industry is relatively straight forward. The mandate requires more people to have insurance coverage, meaning that they will be buying policies from the nation’s myriad insurance companies. This will likely translate into increased profits for insurers for the time being.
With the support of the Justice Department, the issue is sure to be heard by the Supreme Court next month when federal justices convene for the new judicial season.