Thursday, May 3. 2012
The Medicare system could be frozen if the Supreme Court strikes down the Affordable Care Act altogether, according to The Associated Press.
Opinion on the law is split, and if it is considered constitutional, it will go into full effect in 2014. However, Medicare is in a precarious position, as it would still be under Congress' influence if the law is overturned, the news source noted. But this would also create new hurdles for the public program - both legally and otherwise. Specifically, payments for the past two years would be difficult to determine, as it has been a large part of the medical overhaul.
"Medicare cannot turn on a dime," Don Berwick, the Obama Administration's first Medicare chief, told the news source. "I would not be surprised if there are delays and problems with payment flow. Medicare has dealt with sudden changes in payment before, but it is not easy.’"
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