June 28, 2012
Supreme Court Upholds ObamaCare
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
The Supreme Court has just declared ObamaCare, Obama´s highly controversial healthcare reform program, to be constitutional.
In a 5 to 4 decision, the Court has ruled that Congress now has the power to enforce the mandate under its power to levy taxes.
Chief Justice John Roberts helped drive this decision, as he lent his support to the liberal wing.
Twenty-six states had sued over the law which required individuals to purchase some sort of health insurance, lest they incur a fine by a 2014 deadline. These states believed imposing a mandate on individuals was unconstitutional.
The Court has also ruled that Congress had acted constitutionally when it expanded Medicaid in the name of ObamaCare. They did warn, however, that if the states decide not to comply with program expansions, the federal government can only withhold new funds, not existing funding.
“Nothing in our opinion precludes Congress from offering funds under the (Affordable Care Act) to expand the availability of health care, and requiring that states accepting such funds comply with the conditions on their use. What Congress is not free to do is to penalize States that choose not to participate in that new program by taking away their existing Medicaid funding,” wrote Justice John Roberts, according to SCOTUSblog.
The original law of ObamaCare had passed more than 2 years ago, though intense oral arguments took place in March as the lawsuits came before the Supreme Court.
Before these debates, it had been widely estimated that ObamaCare would be seen as constitutional. After these arguments, however, many of the justices seemed skeptical, causing many to wonder if the ObamaCare law would be upheld.
Now, the House Republicans have said they will try to repeal the entire law, though it´s unlikely the Democrat-controlled Senate will allow this.
House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement, "Today's ruling underscores the urgency of repealing this harmful law in its entirety.”
"Republicans stand ready to work with a president who will listen to the people and will not repeat the mistakes that gave our country ObamaCare."
In addition to extending healthcare, the ObamaCare law will also extend Medicaid to 16 million, low-income Americans. Those who will not be covered by Medicaid will either be required to purchase healthcare for themselves or pay a 1% penalty to the IRS. Many will be eligible for a government subsidy when purchasing their healthcare.
Under ObamaCare, insurers will no longer be allowed to turn away Americans with a pre-existing condition or charge a higher price based on gender or health.
This act was a central point of Obama´s 2008 presidential campaign, though he redirected his efforts soon after, focusing instead on the suffering economy. After he was sworn in, he once again vowed to see this new law passed. ObamaCare will almost certainly become a huge point of debate in the upcoming presidential campaign. For his part, Republican candidate Mitt Romney has already announced he will repeal the law if elected as President of the United States.