Supreme Court misunderstanding on health overhaul?
A possible misunderstanding about President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul could cloud Supreme Court deliberations on its fate, leaving the impression that the law’s insurance requirement is more onerous than it actually is.
During the recent oral arguments some of the justices and the lawyers appearing before them seemed to be under the impression that the law does not allow most consumers to buy low-cost, stripped-down insurance to satisfy its controversial coverage requirement.
In fact, the law provides for a cheaper “bronze” plan that is broadly similar to today’s so-called catastrophic coverage policies for individuals, several insurance experts said.
“I think there is confusion,” said Paul Keckley, health research chief for Deloitte, a major benefits consultant. “I found myself wondering how much they understood the Affordable Care Act. Several times the questions led me to wonder how much (the justices’) clerks had gone back into the law in advance of the arguments.”
Monthly premiums for the bronze plan would be lower, and it would cover a much smaller share of medical expenses than a typical employer plan.
“Bronze is a very skinny product,” said Keckley.