The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to engage in expedited review of the decision of a Virginia District Court that held unconstitutional the individual mandate contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”). The Supreme Court’s April 25 decision suggests there will be a long road to resolution of the constitutional attack on the PPACA.
On the political front, however, there is good economic news for employers. On April 14th and 15th, the President signed into law H.R. 4 and H.R. 1473.
H.R. 4, http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d112:h.r.4: repeals provisions of the PPACA that expanded Form 1099 reporting requirements for payments in excess of $600 to individuals to payments made to individuals and corporations. P.L. 112-9. The repeal lifts from employers the obligation, which was to commence in 2012, to issue a Form 1099 to virtually every person or entity with whom they conduct business.
H.R. 1473, http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d112:h.r.1473: completely repeals all provisions of the PPACA concerning “Free Choice Vouchers.” P.L. 112-10. The Free Choice Voucher requirements, if they had remained law, would have compelled employers to ascertain which employees in their workforce have family incomes at or below 400% and pay to certain of these employees money in lieu of health plan coverage equal to the highest contribution cost of any participant in the group health plan.
The repeal of these provisions reflects both Congress’ and the President’s willingness to address those aspects of the PPACA that may harm the country’s fragile economic recovery.