Posted by: Audrey Erbes | July 8, 2012

ACA Debate Continues Despite Supreme Court Decision plus Events and Jobs


The Affordable Care Act and its individual mandate was upheld last week by the Supreme Court with a vote of 5-4 in which John Roberts joined those affirming the law. We know that the mandate was maintained by the Court’s viewing it as a tax but they didn’t support the planned penalty for states which didn’t expand Medicaid. The Court’s ruling means expanded coverage, lower out-of-pocket costs, allowing students to stay on their parents’ insurance until they turn 26, and the end of insurance industry abuses like denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions. See the recent article by Cooley LLP analyzing the decision.

Planned Parenthood celebrated that 45 million women will continue to have no-cost preventive health screenings. The expanded coverage of Americans should be good for the life science industry as sales volumes are expected to increase with greater demand although many of those added will be younger and healthier so increased demand may not materialize at level initially projected. A report from PwC sees a net loss for pharma but admits the passage is better than a worse scenario that the negotiations with the government avoided. “Among healthcare sectors, the pharma­ceutical and life sciences industry will experience the least operational disrup­tion from the law. Still, significant financial implications for the industry are at stake. Branded pharmaceuticals stand to lose about $155 billion over the next decade as a result of discounts in the Medicare Part D doughnut hole, increased Medicaid rebates, industry fees, and the establishment of a biosimi­lars regulatory approval pathway. Those losses are partially offset by a modest increase in sales from expanded insurance coverage of $15 billion, assuming all participate in the Medicaid expansion, for a net loss of $140 billion…” (“Implications of the US Supreme Court ruling on healthcare,” June 2012)

Mitt Romney the apparent Republican presidential candidate in November said immediately after the Supreme Court decision was announced “As you might imagine, I disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision, and I agree with the dissent.” For the past week since the decision, the subject has been source of intensive media coverage as to Romney’s stand on whether the individual mandate is a penalty or tax. He has more recently come into alignment with the Republican party stand that it is a tax which they plan to use against Obama’s reelection. Candidate Romney promises to make the law’s repeal a primary focus of his election. Already wealthy opponents have accumulated additional funds to target the approval specifically. Clearly, the Affordable Care Act will not be finally decided until the November election is over and the dust settles.

See a discussion of the cost problems experienced with the Massachusetts health care plan that was developed under Romney on BioCentury TV Today and the free PwC webinar on implications for business this coming week.

Upcoming meetings this week include:

  • BioCentury TV Today, See new program Webcast Starting Sunday, July 8, 2012, Available anytime starting at 9:00 a.m. EDT; Topic: “Unaffordable Care: Massachusetts Faces Costs;” Speaker: Massachusetts State Rep. Steven Walsh, Chairman of House of Representative Committee on Healthcare
  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Evening, July 10, 2012; Topic: “Development and Commercialization of Novel Universal Stem Cell Derived Therapeutic;” Speaker: Ram Mandalam, Ph.D., President and CEO, Cellerant Therapeutics Inc.
  • PWC Free Webinar, Wednesday Morning, July 11, 2012; Topic: “US Supreme Court Ruling On The Affordable Care Act: Implications For Your Business;” Moderator: Ben Comer, Senior Editor, Pharmaceutical Executive; Speakers: Todd Evans, Director, Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences Advisory Services Group, PwC; Ben Isgur, Director, Health Research Institute, PwC
  • BayBio, Investor & Entrepreneur Roundtables, Wednesday Evening, July 11, 2012; Event:  9th Annual Investor & Entrepreneur Roundtables
  • CapGemini, FACCSF, WIB and Wilson Sonsini, Thursday Evening, July 12, 2012; Topic: “The Influence of Women in Leading the Healthcare Revolution;” Panelists: Jodie Chusid, Director, Global Talent Management and Organizational Development, Accuray; Pam Baker, Senior Director, Market Access & Policy Cardio DX; Sharon Hughes, HR Director, Janssen Pharmaceuticals; Wen-Hui Shen, M.D., Ph.D, Kaiser Permanente IVF Program in Fremont; Moderator: Teresa M. Corbin, Partner, Fenwick & West LLP, Member, Women In Bio (WIB), San Francisco Chapter
  • CBA, Saturday Afternoon, July 14, 2012; Topic: “Drug Development Seminar: What’s possible for protein formulation?” Speaker: Hung-Wei Chih, PhD, Senior Manager, Pharma Technical Regulatory, Genentech Inc.

Read the details for the above meetings and more through September 2012 by right clicking on Audrey’s Picks. See the latest Jobs That Crossed My Desk that includes the previous two weeks’ listings by right clicking on the highlighted title. You can also download these lists from my blog found at



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