At 10 AM today the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act’s individual mandate as constitutional.
The text of the opinion, in National Federation of Business vs. Sebelius, Case Number 11-393, is available here.
Imposition of a tax “leaves an individual with a lawful choice to do or not do a certain act, so long as he is willing to pay a tax levied on that choice,” Roberts says. “The Affordable Care Act’s requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax. Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness.”
According to Footnote 11, which is on page 44 of the slip opinion: Those subject to the individual mandate may lawfully forgo health insurance and pay higher taxes, or buy health insurance and pay lower taxes. The only thing that they may not lawfully do is buy health insurance and not pay the resulting tax.With this decision finalized, New York State (and the rest of the country) can now move forward with implementing the law. We embrace the much-needed clarity and looking forward to working with our clients moving ahead.Millennium Medical Solutions Corp will be planning health care seminars to review the decision and overview to help understand the impact on employers, plan benefits, and providers. We welcome your suggestions on specific topics or questions you want us to focus on. Please join us!
Our office will continue to monitor events and inform our members of any other important news.
Imndiv Mandatae requirement_flowchart_3
Individual Mandate Penalty Chart