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NACDS explains health reform ruling to members
June 28th, 2012
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has sent a memo to members that gives the upshot of the Supreme Court's complex ruling on the health care reform law.
In the letter to members on Thursday, Don Bell, senior vice president of legal affairs and general counsel for NACDS noted that the court let stand most of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) in its "complicated decision," which totaled 193 pages.
The High Court ruled in a 5-4 vote that PPACA's provision requiring people to buy health insurance or pay a penalty — known as the "individual mandate" — was constitutional, the memo stated.
"The majority decided that Congress had authority to impose the individual mandate under the Taxing Clause of the Constitution, because the statute imposes a tax on individuals who fail to purchase insurance," Bell explained.
The Supreme Court also upheld the authority of Congress to expand Medicaid to millions of additional patients, but the majority held that the federal government cannot withhold all of its Medicaid funding from states that choose not to implement the Medicaid expansion.
"As a result, some states may decide not to provide drug coverage to additional patients or otherwise implement the Medicaid expansion," Bell said in the memo. "Those states would forgo additional federal funding available to pay for Medicaid expansion, but they will not lose federal funding for their existing Medicaid programs."
He added, "One important point for NACDS members and their patients is that the statute's provisions regarding average manufacturer price (AMP), medication therapy management (MTM) and other provisions that directly affect pharmacies will remain in force. Opponents of the statute had argued that the entire law should be struck down if the individual mandate or Medicaid expansion were ruled unconstitutional."