America's Health Insurance Plans, a trade group representing the health insurance industry, has filed an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to review challenges to last year's health care overhaul. The brief makes it pretty clear how the health insurance industry perceives the law—as well as what it gets out of it: AHIP, which was generally supportive of reform during the debates that led to its passage, urges the Supreme Court should move quickly in order to settle any questions about whether insurers have to comply with the law's many implementation requirements. "Only a prompt and definitive ruling by this Court on the individual mandate's constitutionality can restore needed certainty to the health care market," the brief says.
The trade group also argues that the Court should resolve the question of the mandate's severability from the rest of the law, with a strong implication that the law should only be allowed to stand if the Court believes the mandate is constitutional. Otherwise, the whole thing should go. From the brief:
Evidence underscores the very real likelihood that implementation of ACA's market reforms in the absence of the individual mandate would confound the legislation's central goal of increasing the availability of affordable health care coverage. Congress, moreover, enacted the individual mandate in conjunction with its market reforms because it was acutely aware of the widespread difficulties that had arisen from the efforts of States to implement similar insurance market reforms without the economic counterbalance of an individual mandate.
Given AHIP's history of contingent support for the health care law, this is not exactly a surprising position. But it does reveal, once again, the industry's bottom line when it comes to the legislation. Health insurers are willing to accept ObamaCare as long as they get what they want out of it: a requirement that everyone purchase their product.