Thursday, June 28, 2012

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In a landmark 5-4 decision today delivered by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the individual mandate provisions of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare under the Commerce Clause, but upheld the provision under the taxing powers of Congress.

Whether a supporter or detractor, the clarity of the decision gives certainty to businesses large and small as to how to go forward with hiring, and other major decisions regarding business planning.

From Marbury v. Madison, to FDR's New Deal legislation in the 1930's, the U.S. Supreme Court has exercised its authority to rule whether laws enacted by Congress and the President are constitutional.

The State of Florida, which has been involved in several recent States' Rights cases, was part of the lawsuit with two cases that were consolidated into the case ruled upon today in U.S. Department of Health and Human Services v. Florida and Florida v. Department of Health and Human Services.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi issued the folowing statement after the ruling:

" All of us who are disappointed with the ultimate outcome today in the health care lawsuit cannot lose sight of what we accomplished. We fought for the principle that the Constitution limits Congress’s power to direct the lives of our people, and on that point, we won. 
As Chief Justice Roberts wrote in his opinion for the majority: “The Federal Government does not have the power to order people to buy health insurance.” 
Seven Justices agreed with our position that Congress could not force the States to make the unacceptable choice between losing all our Medicaid benefits or accepting a massive, unaffordable expansion of the Medicaid program. 
The most sobering lesson from this ruling is that our republican system of government only works when our leaders are honest with the American people. Before Congress passed his health care law, President Obama told us that the insurance requirement was not backed by a tax. And yet, here we are, reading an opinion that upholds the healthcare law on the basis of Congress’s taxing power. It amounts to a $4 billion tax on the American people. 
In this case, the Constitution’s limits on government power did not fail—political accountability failed, because the President and the supporters of this law apparently were not straight with the American people.
The American people will have their say in November, and I am confident that they will join me in rejecting a law that is so harmful to individual liberty, to our economy, and to the welfare of our people."

1,251,397 Florida residents were expected to receive an average of $168 in health care rebates totaling $123,624,635 because of the Affordable Care Act according to a report released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

Under Obamacare, if an insurance company spends less than 80% of premiums on medical care and quality (or less than 85% in the large group market, which is generally insurance provided through large employers), it must rebate the portion of premium dollars that exceeded this limit.  This 80/20 rule is commonly known as the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) rule.  

U.S. Representative Bill Posey (R-FL15) of Rockledge, Florida, whose district includes Brevard County, Florida, is asking his constituents for their feedback on today's ruling:

Listen to Supreme Court Oral Arguments In Obamacare Case: