Immediate reactions to last week’s Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are likely a bit premature given the 130-page decision has yet to be fully analyzed, but general reaction to decision by ag groups pretty much followed the political leanings of the organization.
While the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) took a “this still needs to be fixed” position, according to reports, the National Farmers Union (NFU) praised the decision. The immediate political victory was given to President Obama since ACA was the hallmark of his first year in office. The issue, however, remains the cost of the overall program, how insurance companies will pass along any increased costs and how employers will react when it comes to hiring.
Some say the 50-full-time employee threshold for coverage under ACA means many employers will simply hire more part-time employees, while others contend hiring decisions will be deferred until after the November election.
However, some political pundits contend the Supreme Court decision hands the GOP a political plum in that the high court’s decision that the personal mandate section of ACA is a “tax” – many House members have already put out releases calling the mandate “the single biggest tax increase in American history”—means the Republicans can rev up their anti-tax campaigns.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R, KY) embraced duel issues – Obama Administration overreaching of authority and over taxation – reminding media this week that the President has repeatedly contended the health care mandate is not a tax.
Still others speculate the GOP mantra of “repeal, repeal, repeal” is an unwise strategy because it ignores sections of the law popular with most citizens, e.g. elimination of barriers based on preexisting conditions and the ability to keep children under 26 years old on parents’ policies, and that pushing for full repeal may actually increase voter support for the law. Currently, about 65% of the American public opposes the ACA generally, according to reports.