NorthShore CEO: Supreme Court Decision Won’t Stop Healthcare Reform

By: Molly Gamble

Mark Neaman, CEO of Evanston, Ill.-based NorthShore University HealthSystem, thinks most provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will survive even if the U.S. Supreme Court rejects the individual health insurance mandate, according to a Highland Park Pioneer Press report.

While Mr. Neaman doesn’t think it will overturn the healthcare reform law, he still thinks the decision is an important one. “If you are not responsible for having health insurance, what does that mean for the rest of the people that do spend money to buy health insurance? It is an unlevel, or unfair, playing field,” Mr. Neaman said, according to the report. The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in late March on the constitutionality of the mandate.

The CEO of the four-hospital system also said employers’ reaction to the employer mandate to provide coverage will have large implications since employers drive the financing of healthcare. “The Affordable Care Act says that if you have 50 or more employees, then you must do one of two things. You must offer health insurance at a high federal level, [or] you must subsidize it so it is ‘affordable,” Mr. Neaman said, according to the report. “It is play or pay.”

He also noted predictions that 30 percent of large employers and 50 percent of small employers who offer health insurance today will drop out. “If employers opt out, is the Affordable Care Act affordable?” Mr. Neaman said, according to the report.