In a momentous decision on June 28, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (PPACA) individual mandate provision in a 5-4 ruling.

Writing for the majority and joining four other justices, Chief Justice John G. Roberts ruled that PPACA cannot force citizens to buy health insurance, but it can tax them if they do not. Following the logic that taxes are not penalties but, rather, the responsibilities of citizens, Roberts wrote that one may disagree as to whether PPACA is the best way to address the nation’s problems with health care but must agree that Congress has the power to address problems and to do so by collecting taxes to pay for its programs.

The impact of this ruling for LIUNA members, signatory employers and LIUNA’s health & welfare funds is not immediately apparent. As the details of the Supreme Court’s decision are clarified and future regulations take shape, the LHSFNA’s Health Promotion Division will continue to list and link them on its Health Care Reform Updates page while LIFELINES ONLINE will continue its reviews and explanations (see links below) in the August issue.

[Steve Clark]

 

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