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8 Industry Reactions to the PPACA Verdict

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Industry leaders, associations and companies had plenty to say about the Supreme Court’s decision this week to let the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act stand. We’ve rounded up a variety of reactions from throughout the business. Take a look at what people are saying, and then tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Janet Trautwein“This ruling offers some clarity on the future of the health insurance industry and allows American individuals, families and businesses to adjust to the law. 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.

“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.”

—Janet Trautwein, CEO, National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU)

AP Aetna

“[The] Supreme Court decision does not change our business strategy or commitment to system reforms that make quality care more affordable and accessible. We are prepared for the changes ahead and will continue to fully comply with the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. At the same time, we know that much more must be done to fix the problems that remain in our health care system. We believe there is still time — if people can come together in a bipartisan way — to improve quality and affordability. That security is what Americans want and need.

“We are focused on delivering the next generation of health care through innovative solutions that improve quality and health outcomes, which ultimately makes care more affordable. We remain committed to working with policymakers and other stakeholders to make our health care system work better for everyone.”

—Aetna press statement

Kevin McCarty“While the NAIC has taken no position on the law, as an organization we have continued our mission of providing information and support to state regulators so that they may best serve their consumers and their markets. We will continue to work to give regulators the tools they need to ensure a stable health insurance marketplace in the states. Where the [Affordable Care Act] provides states with latitude, regulators will continue to work with insurers, consumer groups and the public to provide the best regulatory framework going forward.”

—Kevin M. McCarty, National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) president and Florida’s insurance commissioner

AP WellPoint

“From the early days of the debate on health care reform, we’ve stated our desire to build a health care system that provides access to all Americans and ensures high quality, affordable health care.

“WellPoint will continue to move forward with our efforts to improve our nation’s health care delivery system, including:

  • Advancing our partnership with primary care physicians, hospitals and health systems announced earlier this year that we believe will substantially improve quality and member health and potentially reduce the trend in overall medical costs by as much as 15-20% by 2015; and
  • Offering the support of thousands of case managers and health coaches to help people manage their conditions and improve their well being.
  • Providing resources to help members find high quality, high value physicians and health care facilities.
  • Leveraging IBM-Watson technology to help members and physicians make decisions based on the most current, comprehensive, relevant and credible information available.

“The road to implementing health care reform will be a challenge; however, we look forward to working constructively with policymakers and other key stakeholders to build a health care delivery system that provides security and affordability to all Americans.”

—WellPoint press statement

Robert Miller“NAIFA’s primary healthcare reform goal is to ensure access to affordable health services in a sustainable, competitive insurance market without jeopardizing the high quality of care and service expected by consumers. The Supreme Court’s ruling provides the clarity needed to advance NAIFA’s goals.”

—Robert Miller, president of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA)

Shawn Nowicki“We need to look at the issue without an eye on the politics and the partisanship of the day. I think what this does, really, is help preserve the potential law to reduce premiums and make care more effective and affordable. It keeps in place the small-business tax credits and the state-based exchanges, which can be a real boon to small-business owners. And I imagine a number of states that have been resistant to implementing their exchange will now go full speed ahead.”

Shawn Nowicki , director of Public Policy, HealthPass

AP UnitedHealth

“UnitedHealth Group has long been a strong supporter of making high-quality health care accessible and affordable for everyone, working over the past two years on implementing the Law as effectively as possible for our customers and the people we serve. We will continue to do so.

“But, health care modernization did not begin and must not end with the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Health care reform expanded coverage, but the American health care system requires transformational change to provide all participants with broader, sustainable access to affordable, high-quality care.

“UnitedHealth Group remains committed to this mission: To help people live healthier lives and to help make the health care system work better for everyone. We will continue to offer practical innovations that enhance quality, improve access and promote better outcomes, while reducing the costs of care. And we will continue collaborating with the public and private sectors and across the health care industry to bring about positive, transformative change.

“We look forward to continuing to work with all participants in health care to achieve these goals on behalf of all Americans.”

—UnitedHealth Group statement

James NapoliWith this ruling, everything is back to business as usual, and everyone can continue implementing the act’s various reforms and coverage mandates. Whether the ruling is good or bad from a constitutional perspective is for the academics to debate. From a practical point of view, the ruling adds a certain measure of stability with respect to the rules that govern employer-sponsored health care benefits. Of course, this measure of stability will be somewhat short-lived, as Congress continues to modify the rules of the road, and, undoubtedly, there will be litigation challenging the implementation and administration of the act’s various coverage mandates. That said, such litigation would have resulted  in one form or another  regardless of the court’s ruling.”

—James Napoli, senior counsel and head of the Health Care Reform Task Force, Proskauer Rose LLP


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