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Around 10:15 AM today the Supreme Court announced that the Obama Affordable Care Act has been completely upheld, including the individual mandate. The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of keeping the new law known as “Obamacare.”
Justice Roberts did announce that the individual mandate could not be justified through the Commerce Clause but instead through the Taxing Clause. Roberts stated, “When a court confronts an unconstitutional statue its endeavor must be to conserve, not destroy the legislation.”
Roberts claimed that allowing the Commerce Clause to be used to justify the individual mandate would “open a new and vast domain” for Congressional Power. Never before has Congress had the power under the Commerce Clause to tell individuals to buy something. What the Supreme Court was worried about under this justification is that there would be no limit to what Congress could tell the American people to buy or not buy.
Justice Roberts also claimed that the required expansion of Medicaid may violate states’ rights. He wrote, “the states are given no choice in this case. They must either accept a basic change in the nature of Medicaid or risk losing all Medicaid funding.” This part of the law is the one part that Roberts states the federal government cannot require of states but is still a limited ruling. Roberts says that the justices have not completely removed this part of the law but have stated that they have included a possible solution to this problem in their ruling.
So far the Physicians for National Health Program have already responded to the ruling claiming they disagree with the Supreme Court ruling because 26 million people will still not be insured. They also advocate for a single-payer option.
The GOP has already started the fight to repeal the ruling, writing on Twitter, “The fight for #FullRepeal begins NOW. The way to get rid of #Obamacare is to defeat Obama in November.” The GOP claims that the Supreme Court has set “the stakes for the November election.”
For continuous updates see the CNN News Blog.