SCOTUS Upholds Obama Health Care Law....
Posted on: 9:13 am, June 28, 2012, by Richard Holden, updated on: 11:28am, June 28, 2012
(CBS News) In a historic decision, the Supreme Court on Thursday
upheld the critical piece of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, the
By upholding the individual mandate, the requirement for all
Americans to acquire health insurance, the court kept what many
described as the “heart” of the law.
The decision creates some certainty surrounding federal health care
policy, allowing federal and state rule makers to, for now, implement
The decision was 5 – 4, with Chief Justice John Roberts siding with the liberal justices and writing the majority opinion.
The court ruled that the federal government does have the power to
require all Americans to acquire insurance if the “fine” imposed on
those who don’t is considered a tax.
The court found fault with one major provision of the law, which would have expanded Medicaid coverage.
Currently, Medicaid is a joint federal-state program that provides
health care to certain poor Americans, such as children and the elderly.
In 2014, the Affordable Care Act would have opened up Medicaid to anyone with an income under 138 percent of the federal poverty line.
Several states argued the expansion of the program would have placed
an undue burden on the states, and the court agreed, writing in its
opinion that the provision was like a “gun to the head of the states.”
If a state had chosen not to expand the program as the law required, it
would have had to opt out of Medicaid completely, something no state
could afford to do.
The court ruled that the federal government’s ability to revoke a
state’s Medicaid funding is limited, thus, the states can opt into the
expansion, but they don’t have to.
The high court’s move hardly ends the political controversy
surrounding the law; if anything, the decision to uphold most of the law
is sure to renew calls for lawmakers to repeal the Affordable Care Act
Both President Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney are expected to address the court ruling later today.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a statement called the court’s
decision a “crushing blow” to patients and promised that the House would
once again vote to repeal the law. “During the week of July 9th, the
House will once again repeal ObamaCare, clearing the way for
patient-centered reforms that lower costs and increase choice,” he said.
In a written statement, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell
said, “Today’s decision makes one thing clear: Congress must act to
repeal this misguided law. Obamacare has not only limited choices and
increased health care costs for American families, it has made it harder
for American businesses to hire.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on the Senate floor, “Our
Supreme Court has spoken. The matter is settled. It’s time for
Republicans to stop fighting yesterday’s battles.”
The ruling inspired emotional responses from both liberals and
conservatives across the country, illustrating how politically explosive
the issue is.
Upon learning the news, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi first
left messages for the president and the vice president, according to a
top Pelosi aide. Then she called Vicki Kennedy, the wife of the late
senator and health care reform champion Ted Kennedy. “Now, Teddy can
rest,” Pelosi told Kennedy.
The Democratic leader — wearing her lucky purple pumps — called her husband after that and then celebrated with her staff.
On the steps of the Supreme Court, before it was clear what the
ruling was, Tea Partiers and other opponents of the law cheered and
waved signs, initially thinking the law was struck down. The cheered,
“Constitution wins!” A few minutes later, after the news was cleared up,
they started chanting, “this is not over,” and “repeal it now.”
Supporters of the health care law, meanwhile, danced in front of the court and shouted, “Yes we can! Yes we can!”
Meka Sales, a public health professional from Charlotte, N.C., told
CBS News that at a meeting of the American Public Health Association
there, people were crying tears of happiness when they heard the news.
“We were totally unprepared for such a favorable decision. I think
tears were on deck for a disappointment but what an incredible
surprise,” she said. “The room was filled with complete joy and a sense
of justice for those that will have access to health care in the future.
THIS MEANS IS HIGHER TAXES......Something which Obama 'promised' wouldn't happen on February 24, 2009.......
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