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Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Care Act

Jun 28, 2012

The Supreme Court has just issued its ruling to uphold President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. The individual health insurance mandate is constitutional, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday, upholding the central provision of the act. The 5-4 majority opinion, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, upheld the mandate as a tax, although concluded it was not valid as an exercise of Congress' commerce clause power. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan joined in the majority, while Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas and Alito dissented.

Leading up to the decision, the primary questions surrounded the individual mandate and whether it would be upheld or struck down on Constitutional grounds. In the ruling, the Supreme Court appears to rule that the individual mandate would be unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause, but can be upheld as Constitutional as a tax. While the ruling is still fresh, it appears the only change to the Act is a limiting of, but not complete reversal of, a provision regarding the federal government’s recapture of state Medicaid funds.

Read the ruling here (pdf file).