The American Way XL - The Affordable Care Act and the Supreme Court



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SCOTUS Blog

Reuters
Top court upholds healthcare law in Obama triumph
By James Vicini, Jonathan Stempel and Joan Biskupic
Published: June 28, 2012


(Reuters) - The Supreme Court upheld President Barack Obama's healthcare law on Thursday in an election-year triumph for him and fellow Democrats who championed the most sweeping overhaul since the 1960s of the unwieldy U.S. healthcare system.

In a 5-4 ruling based on the power of Congress to impose taxes, the nation's highest court preserved the law's "individual mandate" requiring that most Americans obtain health insurance by 2014 or pay a tax. The justices also preserved, with some changes, a provision of the law expanding the Medicaid health insurance program for the poor.

The decision - written by conservative Chief Justice John Roberts and joined by the court's four liberals - was a setback for Republicans who mounted unified opposition in Congress to the law before its 2010 passage and who deride it as meddling in the lives of individuals and in the business of the states.

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New York Times
Supreme Court Upholds Health Care Law, 5-4, in Victory for Obama
By Adam Liptak
Published: June 28, 2012


WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld President Obama’s health care overhaul law, saying its requirement that most Americans obtain insurance or pay a penalty was authorized by Congress’s power to levy taxes. The vote was 5 to 4, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joining the court’s four more liberal members.

The decision was a victory for Mr. Obama and Congressional Democrats, affirming the central legislative achievement of Mr. Obama’s presidency.

“The Affordable Care Act’s requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax,” Chief Justice Roberts wrote in the majority opinion. “Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness.”

At the same time, the court rejected the argument that the administration had pressed most vigorously in support of the law, that its individual mandate was justified by Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce. The vote was again 5 to 4, but in this instance Chief Justice Roberts and the court’s four more conservative members were in agreement.

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