There’s been a lot of buzz around Obama’s health care initiative. And today the Supreme Court  put an end to the guesswork with its ruling to uphold the individual mandate (*see below). For those of you that are STILL confused about what the hoopla is all about we’ve got the 411.
What It Is:
- It’s Obama’s signature legislation.
- It extends health coverage to 31 million uninsured Americans.
What It Means:
- It calls for a series of reforms  over several years. For example:
- Insurance companies can't deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions (i.e. someone with high blood pressure).
- Insurers can’t set a dollar limit on health coverage payouts (how much policies will pay on behalf of a person over their lifetime).
- Young people can get coverage through their parents' insurance until age 26.
- Medicaid will expand to help insure millions of low-income families and individuals.
*Individuals (you and us) will be required to buy health insurance or be fined come 2014.
What’s Being Said:
- The individual mandate has been called an unconstitutional overreach by Congress and the Obama Administration.
- However, the Court said it IS constitutional because it's a form of tax.
- The court had problems with the law's Medicaid expansion . But ruled that as long as the federal gov didn't threaten to hold a states' entire Medicaid fund if they don't participate, the expansion could proceed.