The Supreme Court announced its decision on Obamacare today with Chief Justice Roberts writing the opinion. Roberts, not Kennedy sided with the liberal wing of the court in upholding the mandate and a penalty for people who do not buy health insurance. Hospital stocks, which would see an increase in patients with coverage are up today.
For other companies, starting in 2014 they will face a $2,000 fine per employee if they don’t offer a minimum level of health insurance. Households with income under $90,000 are eligible buy subsidized insurance beginning in 2014.
The law makes it illegal for insurance companies to set rates that discriminate on the basis of gender, health, age and it precludes exluding pre-existing conditions.
The upshot of all this will be a big jump in your health insurance premiums. This will be an added expense for companies as insurers raise premiums if they don’t pass the increased cost on but I think most probably will.
For the states, they have the option of deciding whether or not to participate in the huge expansion of Medicaid that is tied to this act. Several states may not participate. If they do they are going to face a huge increase in costs and that is going to put pressure on states to raise taxes.
As for the president, I think this victory for him adds to the chances of his re-election. He has a narrow lead in the polls and I think when the PAC attack ads start running they will hurt Romney more than the president and by election time, unless the economic news gets much worse I think Pres. Obama will get his election victory.
For stocks, because of the increased expenses, this is probably a negative. They started the day down, following Europe and are lower since the Court announcement.