By John Kamp, Executive Director, Coalition for Healthcare Communication
June 28, 2012 – In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court today upheld the mandate in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that nearly all individuals purchase health insurance
or face penalties. However, the Court restricted the federal government from withdrawing all Medicaid funds to states that do not comply with the Act’s new coverage requirements.
With the exception of the Medicaid provisions, virtually all major provisions of the ACA stand, including the drug discount and other provisions supported by PhRMA, the pathway for approval of follow-on biologics, the Sunshine Act (which creates the national registry of payments to physicians), and the extension of care and medicine to as many as 30 million additional U.S. citizens.
This decision, much discussed by news pundits, may conclude this particular case, but it will not end the debate over health care in this country during the Presidential election and beyond.
For the medical agency and publishing industries, the decision means that efforts to prepare for the implementation of the ACA provisions will continue, but that close attention must be paid to possible legislative changes and the adoption of new rules to implement its most relevant provisions.
Meanwhile, the most significant facts facing the biopharmaceutical and device industries will be the continued pressure by the government and all payers to reduce prices, as well as continued criticism by some policy makers of company
relationships with industry and of professional communication and consumer marketing.