Blogs: News & Views

Health Care Reform: 2012 and Beyond

Mike Hennessy
Published Online: Wednesday, December 7, 2011

As this year winds down, health care professionals can look forward to a volatile landscape in the turbulent world of health care reform. The year 2011 ushered in at least some of the details of the much debated Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)—passed with great partisanship in 2010 and hailed as President Obama’s most controversial domestic achievement. However, the coming new year promises to bring some choppy waters. In mid-November, the US Supreme Court announced that it will, in fact, hear a challenge to the sweeping health care reform law that has left many concerned and opposed to the law and its measures. 

As The Wall Street Journal reported, “The case raises several issues, but chief among them is this: Did Congress exceed its constitutional powers when it required most individuals to carry health insurance or pay a penalty?” That penalty would be put in effect by 2014, but it is crucial that this court case be heard and decided well before then, if the elements of the new law are to take hold. Now that the court has put the PPACA on their schedule, once again the debate concerning this controversial health care reform bill will take front and center—both with the American public and health care professionals.

The Supreme Court’s decision to hear more than 5 hours of arguments in March 2012, with a decision expected by the end of June, couldn’t come at a more interesting time. That timing puts the court’s decision—and all of its ramifications— squarely into the presidential election cycle and in the middle of the political process. Good news? Depends on who you ask.

Polls indicate that American are deeply divided about this major health care overhaul, with many believing that the numbers just don’t add up and the details are simply too elusive. The original law, which aimed to provide medical coverage for more than 30 million uninsured Americans, sounded lofty enough as a goal but it has proven to raise more problems than it solves. Such is the case, in my opinion, when government has such a large voice in what affects so many livelihoods, and simply grows in scope and size as the answer to any need. So far, 26 of 50 states have questioned the constitutionality of the PPACA, and have asked the law to be struck down.

The Supreme Court could strike down the insurance mandate or other provisions, as well as the entire law itself. One of the states that lead the charge against the law is Florida, where the Attorney General Pam Bondi has said, “We are hopeful that by June 2012 we will have a decision that protects Americans’ and individual’ liberties and limits the federal government’ powers.” Limiting federal powers, finding a common sense solution at the local community level, with appropriate state and federal support, will allow individuals, communities, and health care professionals to take charge of their own destinies and not allow the federal government to dictate its own solutions.

Thank you for reading!

Mike Hennessy

Mike Hennessy, Chairman and CEO
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Mike Hennessy shares his views and perspectives on issues that affect pharmacists.
Author Bio
ABOUT MIKE HENNESSY, President, Chairman, CEO

Mike Hennessy is President, Chairman, and CEO of MJH & Associates and Intellisphere, LLC, publisher of influential journals in health care, finance, and politics, including Pharmacy Times. Pharmacy Times is a clinically based, monthly journal providing practical information pharmacists can use in their everyday practice. Each issue contains articles and features covering medication errors, drug interactions, patient education, pharmacy technology, disease state management watches, patient counseling, product news, pharmacy law, and specialty pharmacy. Pharmacy Times is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) as a provider of free continuing pharmacy education.

As a businessman, entrepreneur, and publisher of magazines, iPad editions, projects, and Web sites that focus on the needs of health care professionals, Hennessy is intimately familiar with the challenges these professionals face every day in today's competitive practice environment. News & Views: Hennessy's Highlights dissects health care policy issues, the impact of pharmacy on national health care, and the critical issues that concern pharmacists as the new health care reform legislation is debated.

As publisher of Pharmacy Times, Mr. Hennessy launched the Next-Generation Pharmacist Awards in partnership with Parata Systems, to recognize the achievements of pharmacists in health care. "As the leader in pharmacy publishing, Pharmacy Times is shining a light on the critical role of the pharmacist in today's health care world and providing invaluable insight into the profession," Mike Hennessy, chairman, chief executive officer, and president said. "We are proud to recognize individual pharmacists in this 2nd annual awards program."

Pharmacy Times is published by Intellisphere, LLC, a leading provider of health care publishing, research, information, and education. Operating within both traditional and digital media channels, Intellisphere serves the needs of health care professionals through an extensive suite of magazines, journals, e-mail databases, Web sites, events and personal meetings. Intellisphere reaches more than half a million health care professionals through Pharmacy Times, Specialty Pharmacy Times, The American Journal of Managed Care, The American Journal of Pharmacy Benefits, MDNG,, Oncology & Biotech News, Oncology Net Guide, Contemporary Oncology, and Oncology Net Guide: Nurses' Edition.
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