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Indiana Lags As Supreme Court Plans To Rule On Health Care

The 2011-2012 Supreme Court session begins today and President Obama’s Affordable Care Act will most likely be on the docket.

Although the law has not yet been officially considered for review, it is expected to be one of the hot-button issues of the upcoming 9-month session.

Indiana University School of Medicine Director for Health Policy and Management Eric Wright says Indiana is already behind the curve in planning and implementing the Affordable Care Act.

“We’re falling behind, and I think that a lot of the other states that have chosen to be a lot more aggressive and use this as an opportunity to make a lot of very long-needed challenges are going to get ahead of us on this and probably create an economic environment that’s a lot more vital for economic development for the long term than what we’re doing here in Indiana by basically waiting and seeing what happens,” Wright says.

Under the current law, Americans will be forced to purchase health insurance or face a fine. Economists disagree about whether forcing all Americans to buy health insurance will lower health care costs in the end.

Indiana University economics professor, Kosali Simon, recently published a paper on the topic and says the Supreme Court’s ruling on the individual mandate may make the difference economically.

“Just how much of a change this means is left to be seen,” he said. “And, it is important to note that what you would pay as a fine is nowhere near the cost of what coverage would be.”

The Supreme Court has one month to decide whether to hear the case.

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