The much-anticipated decision has been handed down. From the Washington
The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the individual
health-insurance mandate that is at the heart of President Obama’s landmark
health-care law, saying the mandate is permissible under Congress’s taxing
The potentially game-changing, election-year decision a major victory for the White
House less than five months before the November elections --will help redefine
the power of the national government and affect the health-care choices of millions of Americans.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. sided with the
majority in voting to uphold the law, Obama’s signature domestic initiative.
Read the full WaPo story here.
From Amy Howe, at the SCOTUS Blog:
In Plain English: The Affordable
Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy
health insurance, is constitutional. There were not five votes to uphold it on
the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the
states to require everyone to buy health insurance. However, five Justices
agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is
a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power. That is all that
matters. Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what
other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that
required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or
risk losing their funding. On that question, the Court held that the provision
is constitutional as long as states would only lose new funds if they didn't
comply with the new requirements, rather than all of their funding.
to come, as the decision is read closely and more analysis begins to come in.
UPDATE: The decision can be read in its entirety here.