Pharmacy Groups Respond to Supreme Court's ACA Ruling
Talsma, Julia, Drug Topics
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as constitutional on June 28, including its individual mandate requiring all Americans to purchase health insurance. In a 5-4 vote, the justices ruled that Congress has the right to impose the individual mandate under the taxing clause of the U.S. Constitution.
By 2014, individuals who are not exempt and do not receive health insurance through their employer or a government program will need to pay for private insurance. If they don't, they will be subject to a "penalty" and must pay it when they file their yeariy tax returns.
Chief Justice John Roberts delivered the opinion of the Court that the individual mandate could be upheld under Congress's power to tax.
The Supreme Court also upheld the authority of Congress to expand Medicaid to millions of Americans. However, the court ruled that the federal government cannot terminate funds to state Medicaid programs if they do not follow the Medicaid expansion provision. States that do not expand Medicaid program eligibility under the ACA will lose only additional federal funds for their existing Medicaid programs.
Various pharmacy groups responded to the Supreme Court's ruling.
ASHP. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) was satisfied with the ruling on the ACA which will help more patients receive pharmacists' medication therapy management (MTM) services and promote integrated care around hospitalization, according to a statement emailed to Drug Topics on the day of the ruling.
The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists is pleased that today's Supreme Court ruling on the ACA preserves the law's healthcare delivery and payment reforms, which will provide an enhanced role for health-system pharmacists on inter-professional teams," said Paul W. Abramowitz, PharmD, FASHP ASHFs CEO.
The ACA also created the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Innovation Center, which will test payment and service delivery models that reduce expenditures and preserve or improve quality of care. These new mechanisms indude accountable care organizations, the medical home model, and qualitybased financing mechanisms, according to ASHFs statement.
NACDS. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) will remain focused on emphasizing community pharmacy's ability to save lives, enhance patient care, and reduce healthcare costs.
"NACDS and the pharmacy industry we represent have the power and potential to help achieve these goals," said NACDS President and CEO Steven C. …