The Supreme Court has ruled the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate provision constitutional, upholding the key provision of Obama administration’s signature healthcare legislation. The ruling is a big win for President Barack Obama, who staked his presidential legacy — and perhaps his re-election chances — on his signature healthcare reform legislation.
By all measures, the Supreme Court’s decision was a victory for Obama and Democrats in Congress — the court voted 5-4 to uphold the bulk of the law, with the exception of a provision regarding the federal government’s power to control state Medicaid funds.
The ruling will almost certainly put an end to legal challenges to the healthcare reform legislation, although Republicans vow that they will continue to try and repeal the law in Congress.
Chief Justice John Roberts delivered the decisive vote, siding with the court’s four liberal judges to vote in favour of the law’s constitutionality. Justice Kennedy, often considered the swing vote, sided with the three conservative judges in the minority, and read the dissent.
The ruling is complicated, but SCOTUS blog parses it down:
The bottom line: the entire ACA is upheld, with the exception that the federal government’s power to terminate states’ Medicaid funds is narrowly read.
Basically, what that means is that the federal government can’t punish states for not establishing insurance pools, which are required by the Affordable Care Act.
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