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June 22 – July 3, 2015

The purpose of this bulletin is to compile a handful of articles relating to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that are most pertinent to LIUNA and its health and welfare funds. We hope you find this biweekly bulletin helpful and informative.

High Court Upholds Health Law Subsidies
The Affordable Care Act made it through its second do-or-die Supreme Court test in three years, raising odds for its survival but by no means ending the legal and political assaults on it five years after it became law. The 6-3 ruling, a major win for the White House, stopped a challenge that would have erased tax-credit subsidies in at least 34 states for individuals and families buying insurance through the federal government’s online marketplace.

After King v. Burwell Ruling, Health Law Issues Involve Implementation
The practical effect of the Supreme Court’s 6-3 ruling in King v. Burwell is clear: It allows federal subsidies to continue to be provided to more than 6 million people and calms the political waters surrounding the Affordable Care Act, allowing implementation to continue in a more certain and predictable environment for the health-care industry, states, and consumers.

Put aside politics and improve healthcare, Obama says
President Obama, fresh from a victory before the U.S. Supreme Court last week that preserved the Affordable Care Act, called for an end to the political fighting over the health law and for more effort to improve it.

Obamacare’s Next 5 Hurdles to Clear
In its first five years, the Affordable Care Act has survived technical meltdowns, a presidential election, two Supreme Court challenges — including one resolved Thursday — and dozens of repeal efforts in Congress. But its long-term future still isn’t ensured. Here are five of the biggest hurdles remaining.

Measuring Health Insurance Subsidies’ Success
The Supreme Court decided on Thursday that federal health insurance subsidies for people in more than 30 states are allowed by law. A broader question is, to what extent are the subsidies responsible for the expansion of health care coverage to millions of Americans under the Affordable Care Act?

Health insurance companies look to consolidate and boost leverage
Rumors have been swirling for the past few weeks: Some of the nation’s largest health insurance giants are looking to buy their rivals. No deals have been announced, but many analysts and policy experts agree that there likely will be fewer companies offering health insurance in the not-too-distant future. But is less competition a bad thing? It depends on whom you ask.

STATES IN THE NEWS

California’s Obamacare exchange to collect insurance data on patients
California's health insurance exchange wants to know why you got sick this summer. With 1.4 million people enrolled, the state-run marketplace is embarking on an ambitious effort to collect insurance company data on prescriptions, doctor visits and hospital stays for every Obamacare patient.

Obama takes health-care victory lap in Tennessee
If last week was Barack Obama’s best week as president, Wednesday felt a bit like a victory lap.