On Thursday, June 28, the United States Supreme Court finally announced its ruling on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) -- essentially ruling in favor of "Obamacare," as it has come to be known around the world. The court ruled in a 5-4 decision that the law, including its mandate for the purchase of health insurance, was upheld. Chief Justice Roberts concludes that the individual mandate is not a valid exercise of Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution; however, it was found to be within Congress’s power under the Taxing Clause (go here to read the opinion: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/11-393c3a2.pdf).
The decision came after two-plus years of thumb-twirling for the A/E/C community; from the moment the ACA was initially passed in March of 2010 (and for a few months' worth of public debate time before that), healthcare building has been in a holding pattern, with few wanting to spend millions of dollars on a new facility only to find out a few months into the process that the entire game has changed.
So now we finally have some closure; what comes next? More than likely, more waiting.
Despite the "closure" of the Supreme Court decision, there are still many pieces of the new healthcare equation that have yet to fall into place, and with November elections coming, everything could still change depending on the outcomes. Regulation and implementation of this new plan is still a giant question mark, and while there is now a light at the end of the tunnel, the waiting game is still very much afoot. The average healthcare building project takes several years to achieve; even if things were cemented in place at this point, it would still be some time before the A/E/C community would see any major cracks in the ice.
In other words, watch this space, because there is most definitely more to come.