At this point most of us know that there are two possible ways to change or overturn the Affordable Care Act: through legislative action or a court ruling.
Congress has tried unsuccessfully — over 40 times now — to repeal the ACA. It’s not going to happen while President Obama is in office. So our legislators have had to settle for some minor victories on a few provisions of the law. The auto-enrollment requirement for groups of 200+ was repealed late last year, for instance, and the Cadillac tax was postponed by two years.
The Supreme Court has heard a couple challenges to the law as well. The first big one was the individual mandate case back in 2012, in which the Court ruled that the mandate is, in fact, constitutional as a tax, and the second one was the King v. Burwell case last year in which the Court ruled that the premium tax credits can be delivered through the federal marketplace.
There are a couple other lawsuits that have been filed challenging aspects of the Affordable Care Act. One is the suit against President Obama saying he illegally handed out cost-sharing subsidies with no appropriation from Congress and unilaterally postponed the employer mandate. That one is making its way through the courts. The second challenge says that any revenue-raising bill must begin in the House, but the ACA started in the Senate. Well, you can mark that one off the list: the Supreme Court declined to hear the case yesterday.
What this means, of course, is that the law will continue to move forward, at least until there’s a new President in office. What happens then is anybody’s guess, but at the very least we’re going to have another open enrollment period under the ACA, so plan accordingly. And don’t forget that your online storefront is good for more than just open enrollment. Because it’s filled with other products as well, you can use it to make sales all year long.