While the political elites and the chattering classes posture
for advantage in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision
upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act's
individual mandate and modifying the law's Medicaid expansion,
employers among others are left to contemplate what to do
next. There is, of course, no shortage of industry- and trade
association-based conference calls, Webinars and programs offering
to help employers move forward. The content will vary
from program-to-program in some respects, but there are three
common high-level "take aways":
(1) For employers that took a "wait-and-see" attitude,
the wait is over: it's time to pay attention.
(2) For the regulators (principally the IRS and the Treasury
Department, but also the Labor Department and the Department of
Health and Human Services), it's time to get moving on two or
three critical rules, including employer shared responsibility,
insurance non-discrimination, and waiting periods.
(3) For everyone, irrespective of preferences in the matter, the
2012 elections are not a reason for any further delay.
Outright repeal of the Affordable Care Act is increasing
unlikely. The broad constituencies that drove the law forward
have not changed; with each passing month the their respective
interests instead get more entrenched. While a Republican
sweep would likely result in changes to the law, these changes will
at best be at the margins.
So there you have it.
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