Health Care Law Survives; what's ahead?
Friday, 06 July 2012 14:55
(NWTX Conference contributed to this article)
The U.S. Supreme Court, by a 5 to 4 majority, largely upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s health care legislation.
Some United Methodists hailed the decision, saying the law’s provisions will help extend health insurance to the poor and even save local churches money. But, even proponents agree the legislation likely will need improvements.
The majority ruling, announced on the morning of June 28, held that the much-contested mandate that all Americans buy insurance is constitutional under the U.S. government’s taxing authority.
Impact on local church
Among the beneficiaries of the new law, Abrams said, will be local United Methodist churches.
She said some annual (regional) conferences are planning to use the state-based insurance exchanges that are scheduled to be operational by 2014.
“If they do that,” she said, “then clergy and local church employees will be in a larger risk pool, which will include a healthier population than just the United Methodist clergy. That will decrease costs in terms of health insurance premiums.”
Surveys repeatedly have found United Methodist pastors in the United States have a higher incidence of health problems than their peers. Abrams said many local churches also will be able to take advantage of a new small-business tax credit under the health-care law.
In commenting on the article, Jimmy Nunn stated that the Northwest Texas Conference will follow the developments as the implications unfold. The conference will seek to reduce costs while seek to retain similar benefits and will keep you informed of changes as they occur.