The Supreme Court Rules on the Affordable Care Act: What It Could Mean for Insurers

The Supreme Court’s five-to-four ruling that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate provision is constitutional because it is a tax is having many immediate consequences. It surprised many observers, positioned Chief Justice John Roberts as one of the most influential Chief Justices in history, gave President Obama a victory, and inspired Mitt Romney and other Republicans to declare they would overturn the legislation. But what will be the long-term impact? Here are opinions, reactions and predictions related to the ruling and its potential effects on the insurance industry.
June 29, 2012


4. If You Can Afford It, You Should Buy It

Today, the Supreme Court … upheld the principle that people who can afford health insurance should take the responsibility to buy health insurance. This is important for two reasons. First, when uninsured people who can afford coverage get sick, and show up at the emergency room for care, the rest of us end up paying for their care in the form of higher premiums. And second, if you ask insurance companies to cover people with preexisting conditions, but don't require people who can afford it to buy their own insurance, some folks might wait until they're sick to buy the care they need -- which would also drive up everybody else's premiums. That's why, even though I knew it wouldn't be politically popular, and resisted the idea when I ran for this office, we ultimately included a provision in the Affordable Care Act that people who can afford to buy health insurance should take the responsibility to do so. In fact, this idea has enjoyed support from members of both parties, including the current Republican nominee for President.

— President Barack Obama

Source: Washington Post

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