US Supreme Court upholds health care law

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June 28, 2012

In a dramatic victory for President Barack Obama, the Supreme Court upheld the 2010 health care law Thursday, preserving Obama’s landmark legislative achievement.

The majority opinion was written by Chief Justice John Roberts, who held that the law was a valid exercise of Congress’s power to tax.

June 28, 2012

In a dramatic victory for President Barack Obama, the Supreme Court upheld the 2010 health care law Thursday, preserving Obama’s landmark legislative achievement.

The majority opinion was written by Chief Justice John Roberts, who held that the law was a valid exercise of Congress’s power to tax.

Roberts re-framed the debate over health care as a debate over increasing taxes. Congress, he said, is “increasing taxes” on those who choose to go uninsured.

The 2010 law, the Affordable Care Act, requires non-exempted individuals to maintain a minimum level of health insurance or pay a tax penalty.

The essence of Roberts’s ruling was:

  • “The Affordable Care Act is constitutional in part and unconstitutional in part,” Roberts wrote.
  • “The individual mandate cannot be upheld as an exercise of Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause. That Clause authorizes Congress to regulate interstate commerce, not to order individuals to engage in it.”
  • But “it is reasonable to construe what Congress has done as increasing taxes on those who have a certain amount of income, but (who) choose to go without health insurance. Such legislation is within Congress’s power to tax.”

Roberts made a point of noting that he and the other justices “possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.”


Courtesy: msn

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