In a surprise decision, the Supreme Court upheld U.S. President Barack Obama’s "Affordable Care Act" on Thursday potentially giving a boost to his election campaign. As Democrats celebrate the decision, the reaction has been mixed from the business community.
|Demonstrators hold up placards outside the US Supreme Court as they await the court's ruling|
on the Healthcare Reform Law in Washington, D.C., the United States, June 25, 2012.
Almost 50 million Americans—or about 15 percent of the U.S. population—don’t have health insurance.
U.S. President Obama’s Affordable Care Act just endorsed by the Supreme Court will force them to get health insurance or face a fine, starting in 2014. Same thing for businesses.
As part of the employer mandate, companies with more than 50 employees will have to offer healthcare to their staff or face a fine of 2,000 U.S. dollars per employee.
Some small businesses have complained about an infringement on their freedom. Others have complained about rising healthcare costs.
Les Funtleyder, author of “Healthcare Investing,” says Obama’s healthcare bill has nothing to do with rising costs.
Les Funtleyder, Healthcare Fund Manager said, "I think the complaints I’ve heard from small businesses have more to do with ideology than reality. Because the costs even under a Republican market-based plan would also have risen significantly."
The United States spends twice as much on healthcare per capita than any other country in the world and insurance costs rose 9 percent last year.
Reporter: "Who’s really benefiting from the rising healthcare costs? According to Funtleyder, it’s hospitals and doctors who account for 65 percent of all healthcare costs."
Hospital shares rallied on the Supreme Court’s decision. Hospitals here welcome the individual and employer mandate as it would increase the number of people insured. Currently U.S. hospitals are forced to treat patients even if they don’t have insurance—many of whom don’t pay—and this unintentionally subsidized healthcare eats into their profits.
Funtleyder says the current law deals with access to healthcare but it hasn’t tackled the high costs.
Funtleyder said, "This is not the last we’ve seen of healthcare reform. We’re going to have to do more about our cost and quality so stay tuned because there will be more laws to follow."
And Republicans are vowing to continue their fight against the bill. The House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said the House will vote on repealing the law after Congress convenes from its July 4th break