News Room

FMI Reacts to U.S. Supreme Court Decision on Constitutionality of the 2010 Health Care Reform Law: Food Retailers Face Considerable Obstacles

June 28, 2012
June 28, 2012 – ARLINGTON, VA – Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision on the constitutionality of the 2010 health care reform law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA - P.L. 111-148). FMI President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin commented on the ruling:

“Today’s Supreme Court ruling upholds PPACA’s multitude of reporting requirements and mandates for food retailers and wholesalers to offer health coverage to their employees. As employers of millions of full-time, part-time and seasonal workers, uncertainty still remains for food retailers in every community in this country.

“As employers, food retailers will need to follow government agencies’ yet-to-be-released criteria for determining which employees are required to be offered health coverage under PPACA and whether that employer-offered coverage, as required under the new law, is deemed ‘affordable’ and passes the ‘minimal value’ requirements in the statute.  Within the coming 18 months, federal agencies must issue new regulations covering all of these issues and more, and each company across the industry will be forced to decide how best to adjust its health coverage and work schedules, to comply with the new law – or whether to simply withdraw from offering coverage and pay any penalties that may be required.

“In addition, there are two provisions in PPACA that specifically impact the grocery industry:  a restaurant menu labeling requirement that was incorporated into the legislation just prior to its passage followed by a proposed rule from FDA that could expand to supermarkets the regulations intended for restaurants; and a requirement that customers present a doctor’s prescription before being allowed to use an FSA debit card to purchase over-the-counter medicines at their local food stores, while continuing to allow the use of FSA debit cards to purchase eligible items that are not medicines.

“We will continue to work with Congress and the Administration to address these concerns as soon as possible.”

For Media:
For industry reaction and an interview with FMI’s Regulatory Counsel Erik Lieberman or Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs Jennifer Hatcher, contact media relations at 202-220-0616.
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Food Marketing Institute proudly advocates on behalf of the food retail industry. FMI’s U.S. members operate nearly 40,000 retail food stores and 25,000 pharmacies, representing a combined annual sales volume of almost $770 billion. Through programs in public affairs, food safety, research, education and industry relations, FMI offers resources and provides valuable benefits to more than 1,225 food retail and wholesale member companies in the United States and around the world. FMI membership covers the spectrum of diverse venues where food is sold, including single owner grocery stores, large multi-store supermarket chains and mixed retail stores. For more information, visit www.fmi.org and for information regarding the FMI foundation, visit www.fmifoundation.org