The Supreme Court ruled today that the individual health care mandate is constitutional as a provision of Obamacare, the president’s Affordable Care Act. Under the ruling, all individuals will be required to have some form of health care coverage, or could face a tax, adding to the mounting costs faced by older Americans and those approaching retirement.
Reports are calling the decision a “victory” for the president, even though the individual mandate is not expected to be enforced in the way it was initially intended.
“The Affordable Care Act’s requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax. Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the ruling.
Implications could weigh for seniors, who are most often covered under Medicare. However, as a provision of the law, insurers must cover those with pre-existing conditions.
Details of the ruling were still unclear upon the decision Thursday morning, but the ruling will have implications for the span of Medicare and Medicaid as well as the providers who are reimbursed by those programs.
View the ruling.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker