Supreme Court Ruling Upholds Health Care Reform … Now What?
By a 5-4 vote, the Court held the mandate valid under Congress’ constitutional authority “to lay and collect Taxes” to provide for “the general Welfare of the United States.” The penalty for failing to carry insurance possesses “the essential feature of any tax,” producing revenue for the government, Chief Justice Roberts wrote.
So does this mean the health care overhaul that President Obama signed is here to stay? The ruling upholds the law for now, but come election time will it still look and feel the same? If President Obama wins the election the reform will most likely be implemented. On the contrary, if Mitt Romney were to win the election, he has promised to overturn it, and instead offer an alternative.
What does that mean for us here in California? According to a recent Los Angles Times article: “There’s already legislation pending in Sacramento to further implement the federal overhaul, and those proposals could become the vehicle for a state substitute. Crucial to that effort, supporters say, would be ensuring all Californians purchase health coverage in order to spread the risk and lower costs for everyone.” California State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones recently stated “I would rather work with other state leaders to make sure California continues to move ahead, we require everyone to have auto insurance in California, and the world hasn’t stopped spinning on its axis. All this political tumult generated by the far right is really ignoring the reality in California and elsewhere.”
Furthermore Assemblyman William Monning (D-Carmel), chairman of the state Assembly Health Committee, said he would support a measure mandating Californians buy coverage if federal funding is still available to assist consumers.
California took the lead in March 2010 (when President Obama signed the health care law) and became the first state to enact legislation for an insurance exchange. So although the Supreme Court has upheld reform, there is still uncertainty due to the upcoming election, but from all accounts it seems here in California we will see health care reform. It may not be exactly like President Obama originally signed into law, but it will eerily similar.