Court Upholds ACA Subsidies – What’s Next for Congress?

Last month, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act’s tax subsidy program that is currently in place. This was the second ruling by the court in favor of the health care reform law in the last three years. As this point, many industry experts believe that Obamacare is here to stay and it is up to Congress to continue to evolve the law to make it work.

From the creation of a competitive marketplace to shop for insurance plans to new insurance regulations, the law is a complex law with various elements that affects every entity differently. Undoubtedly, there are weaknesses within the law. Since the Supreme Court has continued to uphold specific aspects of Obamacare, it is now up to Congress to continue to improve the law.

Here are a few issues that Congress will face in the near future:

  • Effects of the “Cadillac Tax”: If a plan reaches a certain threshold per individual, the company will be required to pay the tax when it is implemented in 2018. Many predict that businesses will reduce these benefits in an effort to avoid paying the “Cadillac Tax”. If that occurs, it will cause a problem with funding for Obamacare since that money was supposed to help fund tax subsidies offered through the law.
  • Repeal of the Medical-Device Tax:  This tax is estimated to help raise $3 billion per year necessary to run the ACA tax subsidies and other aspects. Government officials on both sides of the aisle agree that the tax should be repealed for a variety of reasons, but the elimination of the tax could threaten funding slotted for ACA.
  • Increase in the Individual Mandate: The theory is that if Americans decide to not pay for insurance, they will be subject to a fine when they file their annual taxes. In 2015, that fine will rise substantially. Critics believe it will increase negative sentiment about the reform law and health care as a whole among the American public.

When Obamacare was initially passed, the act had specific actions that would occur to ensure that there was funding for all the incentives and aspects the law was now providing. Many do not believe that the additionally taxes were a realistic approach. Regardless of individual opinions, Congress is faced with making a determination on what taxes will remain in effect and how Obamacare will survive financially moving forward.

Tell us your thoughts about the issues facing Congress in the future!

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