Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare


I’ll have more updates as the news unfolds.

Update: Waiting on the ruling to hit the website, but apparently Chief Justice John Roberts joined the “left” side of the court in upholding the mandate.

Update: Per SCOTUSBlog, “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. … Chief Justice Roberts’ vote saved the ACA.”

This is a big, big blow for American liberty. If the government can force us to buy health insurance, they can force us to do anything. Even with Obamacare’s repeal, this SCOTUS decision will stand as the limit (or, more accurately, lack thereof) on federal power.

Update: From the ruling: “Our precedent demonstrates that Congress had the power to impose the exaction in Section 5000A under the taxing power, and that Section 5000A [the individual mandate] need not be read to do more than impose a tax. This is sufficient to sustain it.”

Because they’ve decided the mandate is a tax, the Court rules that Americans can simply refuse to get health insurance and pay the tax.

Update: Justice Kennedy reads the dissent and opens with this: “In our view, the entire Act before us is invalid in its entirety.” If Roberts had sided with conservatives, that would have been the majority opinion of the court.

Update: More from SCOTUSBlog: “The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional. There were not five votes to uphold it on the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the states to require everyone to buy health insurance. However, five Justices agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power. That is all that matters. Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding. On that question, the Court held that the provision is constitutional as long as states would only lose new funds if they didn’t comply with the new requirements, rather than all of their funding.”

Update: Here is the full ruling:

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Rob Port

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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