The Supreme Court decision against the plaintiffs in King v Burwell marks the end of the significant legal challenges to the PPACA.
It also makes it much more difficult for a future President to undo key parts of ACA, as the Court opined that the mandate, penalty, subsidies, and other key components are set in statute and therefore cannot be modified or eliminated by administrative or executive action (I’m no attorney, so may have the wording wrong; clarifications welcomed).
Yes, there will be continued attempts by opponents to attack this or that part of PPACA. And the GOP may well pass repeal legislation if the party wins the necessary seats and the White House next year. But I don’t think they will.
17 percent of our nation’s economy is in the health care sector, a sector that has, for the better part of a decade, totally focused on operating under PPACA. If PPACA is overturned, the stuff will hit the fan, and the overturners will be blamed. Politicians don’t like blame, and while the hard core right may rail, their Representatives and Senators will keep focused on the swing voters who decide elections.
Okay, so much for my amateur political punditry.
What does this mean for workers’ compensation?
Not much. In fact, I can’t discern any meaningful impact other than “business as usual.”
That doesn’t mean ACA hasn’t impacted work comp, however so far the data is rather inconclusive. I’ll post on that early next week – spoiler alert – the evidence to date indicates there has NOT been a problem for claimant access to care.