Springfield, Ill. - The Illinois Chamber today issued the following response to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in the case U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, et al v. the State of Florida, et. al. regarding the Affordable Care Act and the decision to uphold the law.
"While the Illinois Chamber was not supportive of the law prior to enactment, we are and will remain committed to working closely with state policymakers and other stakeholders to ensure the Affordable Care Act in Illinois is implemented with the best interests of employers and consumers in mind," said Doug Whitley, President and CEO of the Illinois Chamber. "The Supreme Court's decision allows employers, consumers, and states to resume planning and implementation efforts with greater certainty, but we also know the enormity of this law presents ongoing challenges and questions for the employer community that we look forward to working with state and federal lawmakers to address
."The Chamber supported legislation enacted last year that authorized the state to move forward with the implementation of its own health insurance exchange and has been actively involved in ongoing negotiations to craft legislation fully implementing the Illinois Health Benefits Exchange. These negotiations stalled in the face of the pending Supreme Court decision, but are expected to resume now that the Court has upheld the law.
"The Court's ruling ultimately has no bearing on the Chamber's commitment to addressing the very real struggles of our employers, particularly our small employers, their employees and families when it comes to accessibility and affordability issues," said Mr. Whitley. "We stand ready to re-engage in negotiations on the implementation of the exchange and help lawmakers, employers, and their employees navigate the new healthcare landscape."
The Chamber did not weigh in on the constitutionality of the law, but did join with 14 other state chambers and business organizations from across the nation to file an amicus brief with the Supreme Court on February 13 that argued against the applicability of the Anti-Injunction Act, claiming that the Act does not bar the Supreme Court from ruling on the constitutionality of the individual mandate. The amicus brief also argued that any delay in ruling would create a costly and harmful burden for the nation's employers.
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