What does the healthcare ruling mean for you? - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

What does the healthcare ruling mean for you?

(WMC-TV) – The U.S. Supreme Court upheld all but one component of President Obama's healthcare law. What does this ruling mean for you?

Starting in 2014, virtually all Americans will be required to have health insurance, or you could face a penalty.

There will be help for people to get coverage, thanks to state-based marketplaces and federal subsidies to help low-income people buy plans.

The law will also expand the eligibility rules for Medicaid, but it will be up to each state to decide how to deal with the expansion.

The Supreme Court's decision has definitely gotten the attention of doctors all across the Mid-South.

One of those doctors says it will be interesting to see how the court's decision will affect the way people receive and pay for their personal care.

"What most people don't understand is in reality nothing really happened today. What the Supreme Court did was affirm what has been the law of the land for the past two years," said Dr. Scott Morris, Church Health Center.

Dr. Morris says there are still a lot of unknowns.

"How does this law ultimately get applied? The challenge will definitely be defining the law. It's 2,500 pages. In order to implement the law, it requires writing regulations," said Dr. Morris.

Meanwhile, the court found problems with the law's expansion of Medicaid.

It said the expansion could proceed as long as the federal government does not threaten to withhold the entire Medicaid allotment to the states if they do not take part in the extension.

"The federal government will give states money to expand the program, but after the first few years states will be on their own. The state of Tennessee struggles paying its current bill for Medicaid. That's a very big unknown," Dr. Morris explained.

He said there is still a long way to go because the law may not be fully implemented until 2019.

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