The Supreme Court upheld the health care law on Thursday.
What does this mean? News 2 put together a list of FAQ's to help break down the facts.
What is the health care mandate? What was upheld, what was struck down?
The Individual Mandate was upheld, stating that most Americans must have health insurance or they will have to pay a penalty. Insurance companies can't deny you insurance for pre-existing conditions. There are no more lifetime limits on healthcare coverage. People 26 and under can stay on their parents' insurance plan.
The federal government's ability to penalize states that don't participate in Medicaid expansion was struck down.
When was the law first passed? Why did it go to the Supreme Court?
On Nov. 7, 2009 President Obama put together health care bill that the House passed. Shortly after, on Dec. 24 the Senate passed the bill. The bill went back to the House and was approved on March 21, 2010. President Obama signed it into law on March 23.
Fastforward to Nov. 2010, a Federal Judge found the law unconstitutional. In August 2011 an Appeals Court also found the law unconstitutional.
This brings us to June 28, 2012 when the Supreme Court upheld the Individual Mandate.
Which Supreme Court Justices voted for and against the law?
The decision resulted in a 5-4 vote.
Those in favor: Justice Roberts, Justice Breyer, Kagan, Justice Ginsburg, Justice Sotomayor.
Those against: Justice Kennedy, Justice Alito, Justice Scalia, Justice Thomas
What other countries have the same law?
Eight other countries have near-universal healthcare. Brazil, Rwanda, Thailand, South Korea, Moldova, Kuwait, Chile, China.
What do NC lawmakers think about this law?
For a list of reactions, check out this article on digtriad: NC Lawmakers React To Health Care Law
How will this affect me? Will this cost more or less?
If you don't have insurance and don't plan on enrolling in an insurance plan you will have to wait until 2014 until the law takes affect.
What drives up costs of premiums is the way health care is practiced and delivered with technology and perscription drugs. Health practicioner, Robin Lane says, "The Rand Institute estimates that premiums will be lower than expected."
Costs will vary based on what the indivdual chooses based on health care options.
How will this affect small businesses?
"One key benefit to the court's decision to keep the law intact is that it could trigger lower health insurance costs for everyone -- individuals and small businesses alike. By requiring most Americans to have health insurance, the pool of insured healthy people would expand -- making the overall risk pool less risky. "Without the mandate, premiums would be higher -- and it could lead to more people not getting insurance," says Elise Gould, director of health policy research for the Economic Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, D.C.
Critics say this provision, which wasn't in question in the Supreme Court case, could hurt small businesses that have more than 50 workers that can't afford to offer health coverage, and it could curb hiring among companies that have fewer than 50 employees."
Where can I find more information?
Go to healthcare.gov and digtriad.com. Hit the links on the side for additional articles.
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