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U.S. Supreme Court upholds key provisions of health care law

June 28, 2012

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday, June 28, upheld virtually all of the far-reaching health care law that will extend health coverage to most uninsured Americans.

The legal challenge centered on the requirement that individuals purchase health insurance or pay a penalty on their tax return. In its 5-4 ruling, the Court upheld this individual health-insurance mandate, saying it is permissible under Congress’s taxing authority. Other provisions of the law, including allowing young adults to remain covered by their parents’ policy until age 26, remain in effect.

The only setback for the law was its provision to extend Medicaid for low-income Americans; the court said that states could reject Medicaid expansion without forfeiting federal funds for their current Medicaid programs.

The court’s ruling means that by the year 2014, individuals and employees of small businesses will have new opportunities to shop for medical and dental benefits on state and federally-facilitated exchanges.

Delta Dental urges exchange developers to protect consumers’ rights to keep their own dentists, to keep their current dental coverage and to comparatively shop for all of their dental benefit options.

As the Affordable Care Act implementation moves forward at the federal and state levels, Delta Dental remains committed to its mission of improving the oral health of all Americans. We will continue to pursue this mission by providing affordable benefit plans and through our community benefit programs that bring free care and education to millions of people each year.

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