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Affordable Care Act Upheld
June 28, 2012

On June 28 the US Supreme Court held that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is constitutional. The mandate was held to be constitutional under federal taxing authority by a 5-4 opinion. States are able to expand Medicaid (MA) to 133 percent of poverty, but are not required to do so. States will continue to receive MA funds at existing levels if they chose not to expand eligibility. States can also move forward with Health Insurance Exchanges or opt to work with the federal government on the exchange. Pennsylvania has not moved quickly to establish an exchange, waiting instead for the Supreme Court decision. With this decision, Pennsylvania must move swiftly to enact legislation to establish the Health Insurance Marketplace for affordable insurance products. States must also select the essential health benefit package that will be available in exchanges, individual, and small-group markets. Incentives for coordinated care and services will continue.

This is the beginning. Opposition will remain to much of this complex law. PCPA and its members must continue to push for access to needed services and supports for Pennsylvanians under the act. Read the entire opinion on the US Supreme Court web site at http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/11-393c3a2.pdf.

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