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Home Employers Industry Insights for Employers and Brokers Informed on ReformThe Evolving Health Care Landscape

The Evolving Health Care Landscape

Recent legislative, regulatory, and administrative activity impacting federal health care regulations.

Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) became law, policymakers have been divided on what the best path forward is for the U.S. health care system. After assuming office, President Joe Biden took almost immediate action on health care by signing an executive order (EO) outlining his administration’s policy to “protect and strengthen Medicaid and the ACA and to make high-quality health care accessible and affordable for every American.” The EO also directs federal agencies to reconsider current rules and other policies that limit Americans’ access to health care and consider actions that will protect and strengthen that access. As a result, legislative and regulatory action on health care is expected to stay center stage.

Changes to Federal Health Care Rules and Regulations

The following chart outlines key changes to the ACA and related federal health care topics through legislative, regulatory, or executive action in recent years.

Impacts to All Commercial Markets

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Impacts to the Group Market

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Impacts to the Medicare Market

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Supreme Court Dismisses ACA Case

On June 17, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion in California v. Texas dismissing the case because the Texas-led states and individual plaintiffs lack standing to challenge the ACA. As a result, the ACA remains in effect with no changes.

The litigation challenged the ACA’s individual mandate, which provided that most people must maintain a minimum level of health insurance coverage; those who did not do so previously had to pay a financial penalty to the IRS. In the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Congress reduced the penalty to zero dollars as of Jan. 1, 2019, leading to the current litigation.

The Justices ruled the plaintiffs lack standing because they, “failed to show a concrete, particularized injury fairly traceable to the defendants’ conduct in enforcing the specific statutory provision they attack as unconstitutional.” This is the third time SCOTUS has upheld the ACA in major challenges to the law.

To learn more about the case and ruling, click here.

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