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Obamacare Upheld by U.S. Supreme Court

Federal health care mandate deemed constitutional by five of the nine judges.

The Supreme Court announced Thursday that the Affordable Care Act, which mandates every American to purchase health insurance, is constitutional.

The Supreme Court ruled that the federal government can levy a "tax" on individuals who do not buy into the system. The judges said the individual mandate cannot be upheld under the commerce clause, but that Congress's ability to tax and spend in this case is upheld.

The individual health care mandate is the key provision in Obamacare, and many are calling it a huge win for the president as we approach the November elections. The Obama administration touted the law passed in March 2010 as its signature legislative achievement.

However, others decry the law because of concerns about the federal government's role in regulating the health care industry.

U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, who represents the Tri-Cities, said the ruling "goes against American principles." He said the Affordable Care Act is a is a tax increase cloaked as health care reform.

"...the court has ruled that the government can tax you not only for choosing an action- moving to a certain neighborhood, earning a certain amount, or having a certain number of dependents- but for choosing inaction. This is unprecedented," Hultgren said in a press release.

The Supreme Court voted 5-4 to uphold the law, with Chief Justice John Roberts casting the deciding vote and writing the majority opinion.

Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented.

"The act is invalid in its entirety," Kennedy said, according to Fox News.

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