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Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Care Act

U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that Affordable Health Care Act, including individual mandate, is constitutional.

The U.S. Supreme Court today has ruled that the Affordable Care Act and its individual mandate requiring people to buy health insurance is constitutional.

By a 5-4 vote, the justices upheld most of the act, although the opinion is a complicated one. The court upheld the requirement that every American purchase health insurance or else pay a penalty, as a tax decision and upheld it on those grounds, in an opinion written by Chief Justice Roberts.

"Our precedent demonstrates that Congress has the power to impose the exaction in Section 5000 under the taxing power, and that Section 5000 need not be read to do more than impose a tax," Roberts wrote in one of the key sentences from the opinion.

The central issue considered by the court was whether Congress' power to regulate commerce means that it can mandate people to buy health insurance, The Atlantic reported. The individual mandate was the centerpiece of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

The idea behind the mandate, as NPR reported, was that it would reduce health care costs by broadening the base of those paying premiums and by reducing costs associated with the uninsured who resort to seeking treatment in emergency rooms.

The individual health care mandate is the key provision in Obamacare, and some legal experts thought that it could be ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Had it been stripped from the law, many other provisions—such as covering people with pre-existing conditions and not capping insurance coverage—most likely would have been removed, as well.

The decision is a major victory for the Obama administration, which touted the law passed in March 2010 as its signature legislative achievement. However, there are other Americans who decried the law because of concerns about the federal government's role in regulating the health care industry.

Tell us whether you agree with the Supreme Court's decision in a comment below and vote in the poll.

Robert Pedersen June 28, 2012 at 05:23 PM
As a business owner that has supplied health insurance for 72 employees and their families this ruling will be devastating to them. They will now be responsible for their own insurance and the company will pay the fine that is 2/3rds less expensive then paying for the employees insurance. The people have spoken, now they must pay.
Peking June 28, 2012 at 06:40 PM
I just hope that before people give their opinions pro or con, that they actually have read the Supreme Court decision and understand it. Also that they have read and understood all aspects of the Affordable Health Act. Most people react emotionally without facts to back up their claims. Folks, do your own research; don't listen to the politicized punits from both sides on television.
Cathy P. June 28, 2012 at 06:43 PM
EXACTLY Peking http://www.healthcare.gov/law/features/index.html
Cathy P. June 28, 2012 at 06:48 PM
http://www.healthcare.gov/news/factsheets/2011/08/small-business.html It says "In 2014, small businesses with generally fewer than 100 employees can shop in an Affordable Insurance Exchange, which gives you power similar to what large businesses have to get better choices and lower prices. An Exchange is a new marketplace where individuals and small businesses can buy affordable health benefit plans."
Frank Mockery July 02, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Businesses offer health insurance to their employees as part of a wage & benefit package to entice people to work for them. Any employer who uses this measure as an excuse to end health care benefits will see a mass exodus of their best & brightest employees shortly thereafter. Besides only non-union employers could do such a callous thing to their employees,most of whom don't offer health insurance now !

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