Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

High Court Upholds Health Care Law High Court Upholds Health Care Law

This ad will end in seconds
 
Close X

Not a member? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation
 

 

Health Care / health care

High Court Upholds Health Care Law

William Temple, of Brunswick, Ga., waits outside the Supreme Court a landmark decision on health care on Thursday, June 28, 2012 in Washington.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

June 28, 2012

In Victory for Obama, Supreme Court Supports Health Care Reform

  • Court votes 5-4 to uphold mandate
  • Roberts vote saves mandate
  • Requirement to carry insurance counts as a tax, is constitutional
  • Feds may not take Medicaid from states that refuse to take part

(RELATED: Who Is This John Roberts?)

The Supreme Court upheld the health care reform law on Thursday in a ruling in which conservative Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the liberal wing and spelled out ways to keep the highly controversial law within the bounds of the Constitution. The ruling vindicates President Obama’s signature domestic policy initiative, even if it doesn’t stop the political debate over the sweeping Affordable Care Act.

 

The 5-4 ruling lets stand the mandate – the requirement that just about everyone carry health insurance or pay a fine. But the ruling calls the fine a tax, allowing the law to escape arguments that it violates the Commerce Clause of the Constitution.

And the ruling, written by Roberts himself, also addresses the law’s controversial requirement that states expand Medicaid coverage to millions more. It says the federal government may ask the state to do so and can even pony up the cash, but it cannot withhold its share of Medicaid funds to coerce them to do it.

"Nothing in our opinion precludes Congress from offering funds under the ACA  to expand the availability of health care, and requiring that states accepting such funds comply with the conditions on their use,” the ruling said. “What Congress is not free to do is to penalize states that choose not to participate in that new program by taking away their existing Medicaid funding."

Not all the justices were convinced. "In our view, the entire Act before us is invalid in its entirety,” conservative justice Anthony Kennedy – who many court watchers thought would be the swing vote -- wrote in his dissent.

“Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a clear, unambiguous, and complete victory for long-overdue health care reform. It sends an unmistakable message that the building of a better, fairer health care system will continue to move forward,” Ron Pollack, executive director of the pro-health reform group Families USA, said in a statement.

(PICTURES: Crowd Descends on Supreme Court


 

 

LIKE THIS STORY? Sign up for Health Care Edge

Get your daily dose of National Journal's health care coverage.

Sign up form for Health Care Edge
Job Board
Search Jobs
Professional Development Program Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Farmington Hills, MI
Biomedical Service Internship Position
American Society of Civil Engineers | Flint, MI
Deputy Director of Transit Operations
American Society of Civil Engineers | San Jose, CA
Structural Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | New Haven, CT
Transportation Planner
American Society of Civil Engineers | Salinas, CA
Assessment and Remediation Team Lead
American Society of Civil Engineers | Regina, SK
Quality Systems Manager
American Society of Civil Engineers | Greensboro, NC
Quality Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Attica, IN
Senior Water Resource Project Manager
American Society of Civil Engineers | Fairfax, VA
Civil Engineering
American Society of Civil Engineers | Steamboat Springs, CO
Entry Level Geotechnical Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Albany, NY
Sales Engineer-Process Automation/Instrumentation
American Society of Civil Engineers
Senior Project Manager- Transportation
American Society of Civil Engineers | San Antonio, TX
Materials Engineer 2
American Society of Civil Engineers | IL
Land Surveyor
American Society of Civil Engineers
 
Comments
comments powered by Disqus