The Supreme Court's ruling doesn't necessarily mean that the Affordable Care Act remains as-is, according to our panel of healthcare experts.
In its ruling in King v. Burwell, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the government's right to provide tax subsidies to assist low- and moderate-income Americans in obtaining healthcare insurance. The 6-3 decision avoided what many felt would be a "death spiral," dooming not only marketplace- or exchange-based health plans, but perhaps the entire Affordable Care Act.
So while it looks as though President Obama's key legislative initiative during his presidency will remain, that doesn't mean that the law is free from future adjustments and controversy.
Recently, Medical Economics convened a panel of experts to discuss the high court's ruling and what it means for physician practices both in the immediate future and in the years to come.
The roundtable's participants are:
• Bob Doherty, senior vice president, governmental affairs and public policy, American College of Physicians (ACP)
The largest physician specialty society and second-largest medical organization in the United States, the ACP represents 141,000 internal medicine physicians and medical student members. Doherty has more than 35 years of health policy experience and is a frequent presenter at health conferences.
• Anders Gilberg, senior vice president for government affairs, Medical Group Management Association (MGMA)
In leading MGMA's advocacy efforts, Gilberg works to create positive change for
physician practices and assist MGMA's members in meeting the challenges posed by today's rapidly- evolving healthcare environment. Anders serves on MGMA's executive team and manages the association's office in Washington, D.C.
• John Holahan, PhD, institute fellow for the Urban Institute's Health Policy Center
Holahan served previously as the center’s director for more than 30 years. His recent work focuses on healthcare reform, the uninsured, and health expenditure growth, and developing proposals for health system reform most recently in Massachusetts.
• Shawn Martin, health policy and government relations, American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)
Martin oversees the AAFP's division of government relations and the Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care in Washington, D.C. In this role, he directs legislative and private sector advocacy on issues such as physician payment and medical liability reform.