The Week Ahead

June 25, 2012

Leaders on Capitol Hill and in Europe will be busy addressing several consequential issues before the July 4th holiday. This is what you can expect this week.

Supreme Court ruling on health care

The long awaited ruling on the fate of health care reform will be decided this week. The Supreme Court announced that Thursday would be the last day it would release opinions.

There is nothing but uncertainty surrounding where the Court will come down on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. There are four possible scenarios:

Scenario #1: The entire law is upheld.

Scenario #2: The insurance mandate is struck down and the rest of the law upheld.

Scenario #3: The insurance mandate is struck down along with provisions for requiring insurers to accept all customers and restricting insurers from charging more based on medical history.

Scenario #4: The entire law is struck down.

Each of these scenarios will inevitably have consequences for insurers, medical practitioners, and hospitals, and you can expect ramifications for both presidential candidates heading into the November elections depending on where the ruling falls.

EU Summit

European Union leaders will meet June 28-29 in Brussels this week to discuss plans to bolster the European economy. Friday’s meeting in Rome between the leaders of Germany, France, Italy, and Spain indicate that much of the summit will focus on directing funds toward infrastructure projects and job creation with the possibility of creating project bonds. Another topic of discussion may be plans for a banking union and deposit guarantee.

Leading up to the summit, Spain will begin talks with European officials on an additional 62 billion euros in fresh capital to add to the 100 billion already committed to recapitalize its banks.

Congressional (in)action

Congress will debate two critical pieces of legislation this week—student loan rates and highway funding—both set to expire June 30. Interest rates on student loans will double if left to expire increasing borrowing costs for students, and funding for transportation projects will cease if Congress does not take action. President Obama commented, “This issue didn’t come out of nowhere; it’s been looming for months. But we’ve been stuck watching Congress play chicken with another deadline.”

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