Supreme Court upholds health care overhaul

Thursday, June 28, 2012 10:19 AM
Last updated 12:06 PM
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WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court today upheld the individual insurance requirement at the heart of President Barack Obama’s historic health care overhaul.

The decision means the huge overhaul, still only partly in effect, will proceed and pick up momentum over the next several years, affecting the way that countless Americans receive and pay for their personal medical care.

The ruling also hands Obama a campaign-season victory in rejecting arguments that Congress went too far in requiring most Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty.

Breaking with the court’s other conservative justices, Chief Justice John Roberts announced the judgment that allows the law to go forward with its aim of covering more than 30 million uninsured Americans.

The justices rejected two of the administration’s three arguments in support of the insurance requirement. But the court said the mandate can be construed as a tax. “Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness,” Roberts said.

The court found problems with the law’s expansion of Medicaid, but even there said the expansion could proceed as long as the federal government does not threaten to withhold states’ entire Medicaid allotment if they don’t take part in the law’s extension.

The court’s four liberal justices, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, joined Roberts in the outcome.

Justices Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented.

“The act before us here exceeds federal power both in mandating the purchase of health insurance and in denying non-consenting states all Medicaid funding,” the dissenters said in a joint statement.

Republican campaign strategists said presidential candidate Mitt Romney will use the court’s ruling to continue campaigning against “Obamacare” and attacking the president’s signature health care program as a tax increase.

“Obama might have his law, but the GOP has a cause,” said veteran campaign adviser Terry Holt. “This promises to galvanize Republican support around a repeal of what could well be called the largest tax increase in American history.”

LOCAL REACTION

Doctors Hospital CEO Doug Welch issued the following statement moments after the decision was announced.

“At Doctors Hospital we are focused on our ongoing mission to provide high-quality, patient centric care. Our goal is to do anything we can to contribute to the health and wellbeing of our community. We will be working with all of our stakeholders – elected officials, community leaders, clinicians, and employees, to ensure the provision of this care continues smoothly.”

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desertcat6
1140
Points
desertcat6 06/28/12 - 10:35 am
6
2
The non-tax penalty becomes a

The non-tax penalty becomes a tax in the eyes of the SCOTUS, and presto, OBAMACARE, is Constitutional. Why didn't Congress and the President just call it a tax up front and avoid the courts?

Street smart
77
Points
Street smart 06/28/12 - 10:38 am
5
10
Unfortunately. while the

Unfortunately. while the President and Democrats at all levels have been working for change, and people like us have been giving it your all, Republicans have been siting on the sideline throwing rocks to slow the American people down and obstruct economy progress. Georgians must show Congressman John Barrow, a Judas, the "exit door" alone with the Republican - controlled House in Congress come November.

Southern Leslie
2206
Points
Southern Leslie 06/28/12 - 10:39 am
13
5
So Obamacare IS a tax. He
Unpublished

So Obamacare IS a tax. He has now raised taxes on EVERY SINGLE American....yet another of his lies.

Southern Leslie
2206
Points
Southern Leslie 06/28/12 - 10:41 am
10
6
Next up....all Americans must
Unpublished

Next up....all Americans must by a tshirt with Obama's picture on it. If you don't a "tax" must be paid.

TParty
6003
Points
TParty 06/28/12 - 10:41 am
3
7
In his confirmation hearings,

In his confirmation hearings, Roberts said that judges serve as umpires. More specifically, "Umpires don't make the rules; they apply them. The role of an umpire and a judge is critical. They make sure everybody plays by the rules. But it is a limited role. Nobody ever went to a ball game to see the umpire."

Seems like he meant it.

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 06/28/12 - 10:45 am
5
10
:)

:)

Southern Leslie
2206
Points
Southern Leslie 06/28/12 - 10:51 am
11
5
When this law was passed they
Unpublished

When this law was passed they were EMPHATIC that the penalty was NOT a tax, because then they could say they aren't raising taxes to pay for it (and keep a straight face). The first American Revolution was over taxes.

Southern Leslie
2206
Points
Southern Leslie 06/28/12 - 10:52 am
9
5
State 2 facts and get a
Unpublished

State 2 facts and get a thumbs down. hmmmmph

Southern Leslie
2206
Points
Southern Leslie 06/28/12 - 10:53 am
7
6
So who here is OK with the
Unpublished

So who here is OK with the fact that contrary to what Obama promised, he has just raised taxes on EVERY SINGLE person in this country?

allhans
23288
Points
allhans 06/28/12 - 10:54 am
5
3
Now we know why we had a

Now we know why we had a feeling of unease.
Higher taxes! A sneaky ----!! The Courts says it is leagal, not that it is a good thing.
I hear that most states can appeal it due to higher costs for the states

dichotomy
30666
Points
dichotomy 06/28/12 - 10:54 am
9
4
Obama said this was not a

Obama said this was not a TAX. It has been upheld but only under the premise that it is a TAX. Yes, Congress can tax us. But just because it is constitutional as a TAX does not mean that it is a good idea. We must elect a Republican president and more Republican senators and REPEAL this unfair and unequal TAX.

The Democrats lied to you. They knew they were raising YOUR taxes to fund another giveaway program. But guess what. The madate to the states was found to be UNCONSTITUTIONAL so they can opt-out of increasing their Medicaid rolls without fear of losing any funds. So who do you think will be TAXED more to pay for all of those folks who were going to be thrown into Medicaid? YOU WILL BE TAXED EVEN MORE. We must REPEAL OBAMACARE. This is an economy buster. That's already been proven with the numbers. Obamacare must be repealed and redone. We must elect a Republican president and more Republican senators......and get rid of John Barrow in the process.

Iwannakno
1533
Points
Iwannakno 06/28/12 - 10:56 am
2
0
Another reason...
Unpublished

To be sorry and never strive to better yourself. The nanny state will take care of you on the backs of those responsible people that go to work everyday and live their life the right way. Our forefathers would be so ashamed of what this country has become.

TParty
6003
Points
TParty 06/28/12 - 10:56 am
3
7
Too soon to begin shadow

Too soon to begin shadow impeachment campaign against socialist Kenyan Manchurian justice John Roberts?

allhans
23288
Points
allhans 06/28/12 - 10:57 am
3
3
Not ALL people will pay a

Not ALL people will pay a higher tax, they don't pay federal tax now.
They might though get a higher unearned income check.

Bizkit
29229
Points
Bizkit 06/28/12 - 11:05 am
6
4
Yeah the SCOTUS ruled that

Yeah the SCOTUS ruled that Congress can't mandate healthcare under the commerce clause, but now poor and middle class people will be "taxed" as a penalty. This is great because freedom is preserved, and this may backfire and kill Obama's re-election (because Obamacare is still toxic and people may vote him out in hopes of killing Obamacare. In any case, the more Obamacare is enacted the more it becomes unpopular, health care cost are still rising,the issue of physician resistance and the lack of physicians (as more will retire more quickly and fewer go into medicine) has now been amplified (no physicians will be taking medicaid in another year so the poor will suffer), and now the Dems have instantly raised a tax against anyone who doesn't have healthcare-mostly poor and middle class folks. Once again the poor will be shuffled with little aid. It will be ironic that Obama's seminal work will cost him the election. I don't worry about Obamacare because it is a poor law that will die the death of other poor laws in the past-just a matter of time.The real issue is the SCOTUS exposed that the Dem depiction of the health care law was a bunch of lies. We know that the law isn't decreasing cost nor will the predicted savings ever come to fruition now as the ruling applies.

Southern Leslie
2206
Points
Southern Leslie 06/28/12 - 11:02 am
5
4
They will have to pay the
Unpublished

They will have to pay the penalty/tax if they don't have insurance......oh I forgot...they get medicaid. The president's voting stock is still in tact.

fiscallyresponsible
123
Points
fiscallyresponsible 06/28/12 - 11:07 am
6
4
This is the final nail in the

This is the final nail in the coffin for obama's re-election chance. Yipee! Sometimes a bad thing is actually a GOOD thing!

iLove
626
Points
iLove 06/28/12 - 11:08 am
3
5
So AC....Obama will not win?
Unpublished

So AC....Obama will not win? My comment was not true?

ralphinga
1050
Points
ralphinga 06/28/12 - 11:08 am
5
3
Tax & Spend

Our president said this is not a tax. The Democrats in Congress said this is not a tax. Well now the Supreme Court says it is a tax! Those Dems are so smart they screwed the Republicans again! Those radical progresives know how to lie and cheat to get their way and to get your money ... President Obama, your lies have worked again. You knew it was a tax all along didn't you? Well Played!

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 06/28/12 - 11:16 am
8
6
If you already have

If you already have insurance, it won't make a cent difference for you. You will get the benefit of keeping our kids on your insurance longer, no lifetime cap, and no limit on pre-existing conditions. Why complain?

dichotomy
30666
Points
dichotomy 06/28/12 - 11:19 am
8
4
"Not ALL people will pay a

"Not ALL people will pay a higher tax,"

And that is why Obamacare is and has been unfair and unequal from the beginning. The "mandate" has never been for everyone....just those that actually work and pay taxes. They don't care as long as YOU are paying the healthcare costs for THEIR constituency. It is and always has been just another TAX to make working people pay for another giveaway program for the Democrat base constituency. Yes it is a TAX...it was a TAX when the Democrats were lying to you that it wasn't a tax.....just like they lied about being able to keep you doctors and your same health insurance. It always was a TAX. What did you expect when you elected a bunch of TAX and SPEND Democrats? More TAXES and more SPENDING and that is exactly what you got.

And what nobody is talking about is that the Medicaid part of the law was found to be unconstitutional. The states do not have to expand their Medicaid roles and the federal government cannot punish them by withholding other funds. So where are all of these new "poor" people going to get this new coverage? Folks, you have not even began to see the TAX increase that you will get to pay for Obamacare. This apparently constitutional abortion MUST be repealed. We must elect a Republican president, more Republican senators, and maintain a Republican majority in the House so that Obamacare can be repealed and replaced with something sane, and fair to working taxPAYERS. Because the usual suspects will pay NOTHING towards the "mandate" as usual. Just YOU will be paying and you will be pay LOTS more now that the Medicaid portion of the law was struck down.

iLove
626
Points
iLove 06/28/12 - 11:20 am
2
6
the nature of the beast
Unpublished

^ Because it's the nature of some to do so, nomatter what!

Bizkit
29229
Points
Bizkit 06/28/12 - 11:30 am
3
3
If you already have insurance

If you already have insurance your insurance will have to go up as the mandate proceeds so tighten those cheeks. Most physicians are moving away from Medicaid because reimbursement is so low it costs them. Taxes will have to be increased to make Medicaid feasible or physicians won't take it. Also the poor and uneducated are also more prone to poor health so health care costs will rise as this poor health population joins in the pool, and now pre-existing conditions are joining the pool raising the cost of health care. This whole law is untenable by the minority opinion of the SCOTUS.

jack234
719
Points
jack234 06/28/12 - 11:29 am
5
7
The Republicans and Rush

The Republicans and Rush mocked the Affordable Health Care Act by referring to it as "Obamacare". Now that it has been declared constitutional, I'm sure they're go back to the origiaal name so a person that looks like our president won't go in the history book with that much credit to his legacy. I have learned to accept people as they are, with all their hang ups and all their hidden motives for the way they act. Just like the crowds that stood on the side lines at Little Rock and threw rocks, maybe they'll live long enough to regret their shameful acts. Amen.

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 06/28/12 - 11:43 am
6
6
Strange, that when you ask

Strange, that when you ask people if they agree on the issues in the bill, the vast majority are in favor of them. That is, unless you call it Obamacare. The right wing tried, with their usual Newspeak, to kill it. They have failed.

KSL
121942
Points
KSL 06/28/12 - 11:49 am
3
2
If he is jack of get on "the

If he is jack of get on "the obama train," you are right, fiscally.

OJP
5935
Points
OJP 06/28/12 - 02:56 pm
3
2
The SCOTUS is bound be

The SCOTUS is bound by judicial deference and precedent to find any reasonable constitutional authority to uphold an Act of Congress, i.e., the will of the people as Constitutionally expressed via their elected representatives.

I'd still prefer scrapping the mandate and creating Medicare-for-All.

KSL
121942
Points
KSL 06/28/12 - 11:58 am
4
3
Techfan, when they have to

Techfan, when they have to wait for months for surgery or are told no, they can't have a gall bladder operation because they are too old, they will change their minds about how good the health care is.

OJP
5935
Points
OJP 06/28/12 - 12:01 pm
4
4
@KSL

None of that will happen because of Obamacare.

Government is not running healthcare; but requiring everyone to participate in the private healthcare insurance market.

kissofdeath
397
Points
kissofdeath 06/28/12 - 12:02 pm
6
5
The U.S. Supreme Court has

The U.S. Supreme Court has spoken. The Republicans' fought legal debate over health care reform is over. This landmark law, passed after progressives and past Presidents tried for 100yrs to do health care reform right and it took Obama two yrs to produce a well - worded health care reform that expands coverage to 40 millions people and eliminates the worst insurance company abuses,and halt insurance companies from jacking up your rates whenever they please. In the war of ideas, our President has played a central role in bring his message to members of Congress. I think the President will continue to shape the nation debate on such issues as federal spending, tax reform, social security reform, judicial appointments,homeland security and American sovereignty.

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