No matter what your politics are and which side of healthcare reform you fall on, as an insurance agent that may very well deal with health insurance and as a citizen or resident that has or needs health insurance, it is in your best interest to understand what is going on with the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
This week, the Supreme Court will make a ruling over the constitutionality of ACA. A highly contentious bill since its introduction in 2010, Obamacare has uncertain aspects that lead both parties to question the validity and usefulness of the bill.
But there are also issues of constitutionality that arise from such a vast and all-encompassing possible healthcare law.
Aside from the question of whether or not the federal government has the right to force all citizens and residents to acquire health insurance in one way or another, the main debate over ACA is whether the federal government has the right to regulate these state-run insurance exchanges. Essentially this boils down to states’ rights and the federal government.
To rule the bill as unconstitutional and strike it down` is a great feat. After all, there have been more than 200 years of legal precedents set stating that the federal government does indeed have the power an authority to regulate state (and more specifically intra-state) commerce.
Now if the bill does indeed get struck down, which seems to be an unlikely possibility due to these great economic legal precedents, but the Supreme Court is leaning in a more conservative direction.
If Obamacare does indeed get overturned, there could be dire consequences for those who were greatly assisted by this act. The most prominently potentially wounded individuals are those with preexisting conditions.
The “no insurance exclusions for those with preexisting conditions” section of the act may be the strongest and most helpful portion of ACA. Horror stories from documentaries like Michael Moore’s Sicko paint a bleak for individuals trying to acquire health insurance while harboring a preexisting condition that are both expensive and life threatening. Scenes depicting these individuals getting rejected by insurance companies leaving them unable to treat their possibly fatal conditions may very well become common place.
The other group that stands to greatly profit from ACA remaining intact is those individuals under the age of 26 who do not have their own insurance and will be able to remain on their parents’ insurance.
Although these two groups tend to not hold much political power, discounting the need for health insurance for these two vulnerable groups would certainly negatively impact them and the country as a whole.
But a decision will be made this week, so hopefully the debate will be put to an end and the decision will be good for the country and for insurance agents.
Posy by Tatyana Levin