The future of the health care law

Jul 2, 2012

The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act was the subject of a symposium in Buffalo Friday. Panelists agreed the high court's ruling does not guarantee the law's future.

During oral arguments in front of the Supreme Court, attorneys spent just 50 words on whether or not the health care law is a tax. That ended up being the crux of Justice John Roberts opinion to uphold the law.

Washington D.C. based healthcare attorney Tony Shelley told a symposium in Buffalo Friday that the ruling validates the law from a constitutional standpoint.

"The bottom line of the decision is that the Supreme Court says to those involved in the health reform world: go forth and implement," Shelley said.

But not so fast, says Bill Keefer, a Buffalo healthcare attorney. House Republican leadership has already called a vote to repeal the law during the week of July 9 and if Republicans make gains in Congress or claim the White House, they'll likely try any route possible to hinder President Obama's signature legislative achievement, says Keefer.

"Maybe they won't be able to repeal it but boy they could make a mess of it," Keefer said.

The Affordable Care Act's mandate that citizens who do not have health insurance face a fine goes into effect in 2014.