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Speculation Ramps Up as PPACA Decision Nears

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Speculation Ramps Up as PPACA Decision Nears

June 8, 2012

A Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is expected to be handed down this month. Ahead of the ruling, agencies such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), as well as politicians and pundits, have been speculating on what impact the ruling will have on Medicaid.

Governing posted an article that discusses the practical implications for states if the court dismantles the law. Because funds authorized under the PPACA have already been used by states to implement expansions in coverage, the consequences of the law being overturned in whole or in part will mean that states will have to quickly restructure those programs.

At a town hall meeting on June 7, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius assured attendees that HHS would be “ready for court contingencies,” although “we think it’s the best preparation to anticipate that the law is fully constitutional.” (For more on what Sebelius had to say, click here.)

Despite the optimism expressed by Sebilius and the White House, many pundits anticipate that at least part of the law will be struck down, and there is a lack of consensus over just what the scope of the consequences will be.