Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision on the constitutionality of the 2010 health care reform law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA – P.L. 111-148). FMI President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin commented on the ruling:
“Today’s Supreme Court ruling upholds PPACA’s multitude of reporting requirements and mandates for food retailers and wholesalers to offer health coverage to their employees. As employers of millions of full-time, part-time and seasonal workers, uncertainty still remains for food retailers in every community in this country.
“As employers, food retailers will need to follow government agencies’ yet-to-be-released criteria for determining which employees are required to be offered health coverage under PPACA and whether that employer-offered coverage, as required under the new law, is deemed ‘affordable’ and passes the ‘minimal value’ requirements in the statute. Within the coming 18 months, federal agencies must issue new regulations covering all of these issues and more, and each company across the industry will be forced to decide how best to adjust its health coverage and work schedules, to comply with the new law – or whether to simply withdraw from offering coverage and pay any penalties that may be required.
“In addition, there are two provisions in PPACA that specifically impact the grocery industry: a restaurant menu labeling requirement that was incorporated into the legislation just prior to its passage followed by a proposed rule from FDA that could expand to supermarkets the regulations intended for restaurants; and a requirement that customers present a doctor’s prescription before being allowed to use an FSA debit card to purchase over-the-counter medicines at their local food stores, while continuing to allow the use of FSA debit cards to purchase eligible items that are not medicines.
“We will continue to work with Congress and the Administration to address these concerns as soon as possible.”