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Ruling Adds Urgency to Idaho Exchange Plan

By Dr. David C. Pate, News and Community
June 28, 2012

This post has been updated, and includes a link to the ruling ...

The Supreme Court's surprising decision to analyze the constitutionality of the individual mandate under the taxing power, rather than the Commerce Clause, established that the individual mandate is constitutional as a valid exercise of the government's taxing power.

Now that the court has established that the Affordable Care Act will continue to be the law of the land, it's clear that all our preparations at St. Luke's are situating us well to thrive for the future.

And for the state of Idaho, the implication of Thursday's ruling is that the state must continue to implement all the portions of the Affordable Care Act, including the plan for health insurance exchanges. Those states without a plan may face federal imposition of an exchange.

Even though the court held that the penalty under the Affordable Care Act to not obtain health insurance is a tax, it also held that the Anti-Injunction Act does not bar the suit. Had the Court not determined the penalty was a tax, the individual mandate would have been held unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause.

I plan to write more on the 193-page ruling, so check back in for more on how the ruling affects St. Luke's.

About The Author

David C. Pate, M.D., J.D., is president and CEO of St. Luke's Health System, based in Boise, Idaho. Dr. Pate joined the System in 2009. He received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center.