Supreme Court Upholds Health Care Law

The ruling finds the federal mandate constitutional.

The Supreme Court has ruled in a 5-4 decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act, declaring its individual mandate to be constitutional.

The argument against the constitutionality of the individual mandate had been that it violated states' rights, but proponents cited the Constitution's commerce clause as justification. However, the court seems to have found a way around the argument, ruling that the mandate was constitutional anyway under Congress's ability to tax.

In other words, the government can't force you to buy insurance, but Congress can tax you if you don't.

Considered to be the defining domestic policy acheivement for President Barack Obama, the Affordable Care Act -- often referred to as "Obamacare" -- has been a political lightning rod since it was passed in March 2010 by Democrats along party lines with virtually no Republican support.

Supporters of the law have insisted that it would provide coverage to millions of Americans who could not find or afford coverage before, lower health care costs in the long run and prohibit insurance companies from refusing to cover sick people.

Opponents have insisted that the law is a massive government overreach that will further balloon the nation's deficit without bringing health care costs down and will cost the nation millions of jobs as the new regulations strangle businesses.

What do you think about the ruling? Tell us in the comment section below! 

The Shill July 01, 2012 at 06:36 PM
From Forbes Magazine: In July of 1798, Congress passed - and President John Adams signed - "An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen." The law authorized the creation of a government operated marine hospital service and mandated that privately employed sailors be required to purchase health care insurance.Keep in mind that the 5th Congress did not really need to struggle overthe intentions of the drafters of the Constitutions in creating this Act asmany of its members were the drafters of the Constitution. And when the Bill came to the desk of President John Adams for signature, Ithink it's safe to assume that the man in that chair had a pretty good grasp onwhat the framers had in mind....First, it created the Marine Hospital Service, a series of hospitals built andoperated by the federal government to treat injured and ailing privately employed sailors.
The Shill July 01, 2012 at 06:36 PM
This government provided healthcare service was to be paid for by amandator tax on the maritime sailors (a little more than 1% of a sailor's wages),the same to be withheld from a sailor's pay and turned over to the government bythe ship's owner. The payment of this tax for health care was not optional. If asailor wanted to work he had to pay up.This is pretty much how it works today in the European nations that conductsocialized medical programs for its citizens - although 1% of wages doesn't quitecut it any longer.The law was not only the first time the United States created a socializedmedical program (The Marine Hospital Service) but was also the first to mandatethat privately employed citizens be legally required to make payments to pay forhealth care services. Upon passage of the law, ships were no longer permittedto sail in and out of our ports if the health care tax had not been collected by theship owners and paid over to the government - thus the creation of the firstpayroll tax in our nation's history.When a sick or injured sailor needed medical assistance, the governmentwould confirm that his payments had been collected and turned over by hisemployer and would then give the sailor a voucher entitling him to admission tothe hospital where he would be treated for whatever ailed him.
The Shill July 01, 2012 at 06:37 PM
While a few of the healthcare facilities accepting the government voucher were privately operated, the majority of the treatment was given out at the federal maritime hospitals that were built and operated by the government in the nation's largest ports.
Jack Baillargeron July 01, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Not even comparible to the Bill SHill, course you should have mentioned it did not last long, once a standing military was created and people realized you cannot charge people for healthcare that are dying for your country. This is about a civilian socialized program paid for by all the taxpayers, reguardles of whether they want the product or not, being done through a tax. Which by the way cannot be challedged in the Courts by Law until someone has paid the tax, then it will be back to the supreme court to rule on it yet again, only this time as an unfair tax burden on the citizens. The commerce clause will not be in play according to every Constitutional Lawyer I have seen the last few days (they all suspect it was Roberts plan in the end). Why do you think the administration and its minions are all over the news, last couple of days, denying it is a tax. Because that what Roberts say it is and he knows it will be back in court if this program continues. Whether it was a plan by him or not, time will tell. This far from over in my opinion.
J. Lane McMahon July 01, 2012 at 11:05 PM
Jack, you do know that the "Tax" is only paid by those who choose NOT to have healthcare, right? I thought you said you had read the law? Qualified Healthcare plans exempt citizens from paying the penalty / tax / 30 pieces of silver / or whatever Fox news is calling it these days. I must also point out that if you had actually read the law like you claim, you would have noticed that the lie about 16,000 IRS agents was nothing more than Fox propaganda. In fact, the law specifically says that "the IRS is explicitly prohibited from using the liens and levies commonly used to collect money owed by delinquent taxpayers, and rules out any criminal penalties for individuals who refuse to pay the tax or those who don't obtain coverage." And to further set the record straight IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman testified before a hearing of the House Ways and Means Committee March 25 that the IRS won't be auditing individuals to certify that they have obtained health insurance.


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