Insurance Group: Obamacare Ruling Won't Lower Costs

Thursday, 28 Jun 2012 12:15 PM

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A Supreme Court decision to uphold the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) won't do anything to lower healthcare costs, Janet Trautwein, CEO of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU), said Thursday.

The Supreme Court voted 5-4 upholding the law, which includes a mandate requiring individuals to buy health insurance.

The ruling won't affect coverage, Trautwein said.

"While we still have concerns that PPACA does not address the true drivers of health insurance costs in this country, and the law is having a huge and costly compliance burden on American employers, it is our responsibility as industry leaders to move forward within the constraints of the law to help Americans access high-quality, affordable healthcare," Trautwein said in a statement.

“There are still legislative actions that can be taken to fix parts of the law, and though we support many of these efforts, our focus is to help our customers transition to the regulations, policies and procedures the law outlines."

The National Association of Health Underwriters represents 100,000 professional health insurance agents.

“As insurance professionals, our job is to assure full-scale implementation of PPACA will continue and to help our individual and employer clients with the transition and compliance requirements the law entails. Our efforts to enroll individuals in high-risk pools, Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP programs will continue as we work to lower the number of uninsured Americans," the statement read.

The court said the act was constitutional in that it involved taxes and not penalties.

"The Affordable Care Act's requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the court's majority, according to Reuters.

"Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness," Roberts concluded.

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