Later this month, the Supreme Court will hand down its ruling on the Affordable Care Act.
In their ruling, the Supreme Court could do one of three things:
1. Uphold the Affordable Care Act;
2. Uphold the Affordable Care Act in part;
3. Strike down the Affordable Care Act completely.
Regardless of the direction of their decision, the ruling will have big consequences for the general public, hospitals and clinics and health care professionals.
But what would the true impact be at both the state and federal levels? To find out we asked two leading experts within the School of Public Health's Division of Health Policy and Management.
The Impact at the Federal Level
According to health economics expert Jean Abraham, Ph.D., the impact on a federal level could look something like this:
1. Uphold the Affordable Care Act - The federal government will continue on as planned with the mandates set forth in the Affordable Care Act.
2. Uphold the Affordable Care Act in part - The effectiveness of the Affordable Care Act for reducing the number of uninsured will be in question. Many economists believe the individual mandate needs to go hand-in-hand with other types of insurance market provisions.
3. Strike down the Affordable Care Act completely - This will have a negative effect on reducing the number of uninsured people in the U.S. By 2016, there will be an estimated 56 million uninsured Americans and the provisions within the Affordable Care Act could help reduce this number by 30 million.
The Impact at the State Level
According to health policy expert Lynn Blewett, Ph.D., the impact on the state of Minnesota could look something like this:
1. Uphold the Affordable Care Act in part - It will be a slight setback but the state would likely continue to implement the exchange in an effort to find a large enough pool and healthy pool in the exchange to make the insurance premiums reasonably priced.
2. Strike down the Affordable Care Act completely - It would be a devastating blow to a state like Minnesota because of all the energy, effort and federal funding that went into creating and implementing the programs under the Affordable Care Act.
3. Uphold the Affordable Care Act - The state of Minnesota will continue on as planned with the mandates set forth in the Affordable Care Act.
No matter what side of the issue you're on, one thing is clear: many Americans will be affected by the Supreme Court's decision.
For more on the potential impacts of the Supreme Court's decision at the federal and state levels, watch videos of both Abraham and Blewett. And make sure to check back here for more updates on the Affordable Care Act ruling as they develop.
Photo by Phil Roeder