Friday, June 29, 2012

Supreme Court Lets Health Law Largely Stand, in Victory for Obama

“The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld most of President Obama’s health care overhaul law, saying it was authorized by Congress’s power to levy taxes. The vote was 5 to 4, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joining the court’s four more liberal members.

The decision was a victory for President Obama and Congressional Democrats, affirming the central legislative pillar of Mr. Obama’s presidency. The ruling upheld the individual mandate requiring nearly all Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty.

“The Affordable Care Act’s requirement that certain in­dividuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax,” Chief Justice Roberts wrote in the majority opinion. “Be­cause the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness.”

The justices rejected the argument that the administration had pressed most vigorously in support of the law, that its individual mandate was justified by Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce. The vote was again 5 to 4, but here Chief Justice Roberts was joined by the court’s four more conservative members.”

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