The U.S. Supreme Court deemed the Affordable Care Act constitutional in a 5-4 decision issued on June 28. The court said the federal government’s power to tax people means it is within its rights to require that as part of the law, nearly all Americans must obtain health insurance by 2014 or pay a tax penalty. The individual mandate had been the primary target of states and small businesses suing to have the law invalidated.
The National Retail Federation released the following statement from NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay on the Supreme Court’s decision: “As the voice of retailers of all types and sizes, we’re disappointed by today’s ruling. The Court missed an opportunity to redress the many shortcomings of the law.
“As it stands, the law wrongly focuses more on penalizing employers and the private sector than reducing health costs. For these reasons, NRF has been a consistent skeptic of the Affordable Care Act.
“NRF worked closely with lawmakers throughout the debate with the hopes that bipartisan reform would help make coverage more accessible and affordable. The law that emerged in 2010 was a controversial and partisan measure riddled with punitive mandates and penalties that were as unreasonable as they were unworkable.
“Although the Court upheld the law’s constitutionality, many problems remain: it penalizes employers too much; it doesn’t do enough to reduce the cost of health care; and it is unreasonably complicated and difficult to implement and administer.
“This law will have a dramatic, negative impact on every employer and employee in the United States and further constrain job creation and economic growth.
“NRF will redouble our efforts to repeal the law while we continue to work, in good faith, with regulators to smooth implementation for retailers and businesses alike.”
The National Retail Federation is the world’s largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, NRF represents retailers of all types and sizes, including chain restaurants and industry partners, from the United States and more than 45 countries abroad. Retailers operate more than 3.6 million U.S. establishments that support one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.5 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s Retail Means Jobs campaign emphasizes the economic importance of retail and encourages policymakers to support a Jobs, Innovation and Consumer Value Agenda aimed at boosting economic growth and job creation.