Gabriel Dillard

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BLOG: Supreme Court health care decision business as usual

At least for the health care industry, this kinda means business as usual.

For a couple of years now, health insurers, hospitals, clinics and even some business owners have been preparing for a new reality under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. With the Supreme Court upholding the most important component, the individual health insurance mandate, 30 million more people will have insurance by 2014.  See the links below to stories from our Health Care 2012 supplement published in May, and other stories that highlight Central Valley viewpoints.

Local opinions are starting to come in. Rep. Jim Costa (D-Fresno) released a statement:

"Health reform was not a perfect bill, but the status quo was unacceptable. Costs were rising and continue to rise, coverage was becoming harder to obtain, and over 40 million Americans were without health insurance, yet we are still paying for their care." 

Costa continues:

"Now that the Court has ruled, we must come together in a bipartisan fashion to do the hard work of examining health reform to see what works and to improve or replace what doesn’t. The decision gives some certainty to individuals, businesses, and health care providers."

From the Lincoln Club of Fresno County:

“In 2010, largely because of ObamaCare and spiraling debt and deficits, Obama suffered the greatest midterm election rout in a generation. There is no reason to believe that this ruling strengthens his position going into November.

“Contrary to popular opinion, this is hardly a win for Obama and his leftist allies. They are now forced to explain their previously held position that they would not raise taxes on anyone making under $250,000 a year when they have clearly now done that."

It was the National Federation for Independent Business, along with 26 states, that files the constitutional challenge that made it all the way to the Supreme Court. Dan Danner, CEO of the NFIB, released the following statement:

“While we are certainly disappointed, NFIB respects the decision to uphold the individual mandate by the Supreme Court. Clearly this mandate has now become a tax on all Americans and a broken campaign promise from President Obama not to raise taxes."

And here's this zinger from Karen Harned, executive director of NFIB's Small Business Legal Center:

“This day will go down in history as the day when Americans lost a part of their freedom — the freedom to choose what they want to buy with their own money.”

From our Health Care 2012 guide, Community Medical Centers doesn't anticipate "an influx of new patients," but a different "payor landscape:"

http://thebusinessjournal.com/component/content/article/2-uncategorised/2375-are-hospitals-ready-for-health-care-reform

Many of the local health care facilities have been in expansion mode for some time now. Here's a run down written in May from our Health Care 2012 guide. 

http://thebusinessjournal.com/component/content/article/2-uncategorised/2376-central-valley-hospitals-on-building-spree 

The Supreme Court invalidating the entire law could have helped Fresno Surgical Hospital, which is at a standstill with an $11.5 million expansion because of a part of the health care law barring physician-owned facilities from expanding.

http://thebusinessjournal.com/news/healthcare/355-law-has-hospital-stuck-between-rock-bare-space

Here's a glimpse of what employers need to know about the health care law. Hint: It's complicated:

http://thebusinessjournal.com/news/healthcare/2074-employers-insurance-and-the-health-care-law