Supreme Court allows ObamaCare to stand

Chief Justice Roberts joined the majority to affirm the health care law, part of Medicaid expansion ruled unconstitutional

In what’s being hailed as the most significant decision since Bush v. Gore in 2000, the Supreme Court decided this morning to uphold President Obama’s controversial health care overhaul.

In an opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the high court upheld the individual mandate as a tax, but ruled that part of the expansion of Medicaid was unconstitutional. As a result, states will now have some leeway to not expand their Medicaid programs without having to pay the penalties called for by the law.

Part 1: The Anti-Injunction Act

Chief Justice Roberts wrote that Congress didn’t intend for taxpayers’ assessment payments to be treated as a “tax” for the purposes of the Anti-Injunction Act. The PPACA pronounces the payments as a “penalty” and not a “tax”. Therefore, while the label cannot control whether payment is a tax for the purposes of the Constitution, it does determine whether the Anti-Injunction Act applies.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued a statement hailing the decision as a historic victory for the tens of millions more Americans who will be covered by health insurance.

“The law's effects will be significant in our state, where over two million people are uninsured,” he said. “Over a million uninsured New Yorkers will soon have access to affordable coverage. This law will continue to provide a spectrum of key consumer protections including keeping young adults on their parents' plans, ending pre-existing condition restrictions, and increasing consumer information about health care choices.”

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