June 28, 2012

From The Kansas City Star

by Dave Helling, Diane Stafford and Alvin Bavley

By the narrowest possible margin, the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday upheld virtually all of the Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law considered the central achievement of President Barack Obama. Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the 5-4 majority, said the requirement that almost all Americans purchase health insurance is constitutional. The penalty for failing to obtain insurance, he ruled, is a tax — and Congress has broad authority to levy taxes. “Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness,” Roberts wrote.

"Everyone in health care industry is sighing in relief that this part of it, the individual mandate question, is over,” said Tom O’Donnell, a Kansas City attorney who represents doctors and hospitals. (O'Donnell is a health care attorney at Polsinelli Shughart).

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About Tom O'Donnell

For over 30 years, Thomas P. O’Donnell has helped a wide variety of health care providers address the many changes occurring in the health care industry.
Mr. O’Donnell counsels health care providers on many topics. He represents IPAs and multispecialty physician groups, acute care hospitals, academic medical centers, rehabilitation clinics, skilled nursing facilities, free-standing diagnostic and therapeutic centers.

Mr. O’Donnell’s experience and expertise includes counseling organizations on mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, formation of networks, MSOs and IPAs, joint ventures, fraud and abuse. In recent years, his focus has been on the emerging rise of electronic health records, HIPAA and the formation of health information exchanges and personal health records