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Supreme Court Upholds Health Care Law's Individual Mandate

The decision rejects arguments Congress went too far by requiring all Americans to have a health insurance policy.

In a historic decision Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the individual insurance mandate, the central provision of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.

The 5-4 majority ruling, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, held that the mandate—which requires virtually every American to have health insurance or pay a penalty—is a constitutional under Congress's power to tax, according to multiple media reports.

The mandate, Roberts wrote, "makes going without insurance just another thing the Government taxes, like buying gasoline or earning income. And if the mandate is in effect just a tax hike on certain taxpayers who do not have health insurance, it may be within Congress’s constitutional power to tax."

Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on March 23, 2010. The mandate—which will go into effect in 2014—was included because most people in the U.S. get their insurance through employers, leaving millions of people uncovered.

Pressuring people to buy into a plan and getting more businesses to offer policies will give insurance companies more people to spread the risk, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Many are calling the decision a major victory for the White House, coming only five months before the November elections.

Reaction from State and Local Officials

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL):

"While I respect the Court’s decision, the health care law threatens our economic recovery by raising taxes, imposing new regulations and creating a drag on the economy," said Senator Kirk. "Congress should repeal the health care law and replace it with common sense, centrist reforms that give Americans the right to buy insurance across state lines and expand coverage without raising taxes, while blocking the government from coming between patients and their doctors."

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)

"This decision means that we can move forward to address the unsustainable increase in health care costs and expand the protection of health insurance coverage to over 30 million Americans – including millions in Illinois. Those who opposed any change in the law and dismissed the constitutionality of this measure were rejected by the actions of Congress and the opinion of the Chief Justice.

“It is also noteworthy that after two controversial, activist decisions in Bush v. Gore and Citizens United, the Chief Justice, in both the Arizona immigration law and the Affordable Care Act cases, appears to be working to re-establish the political neutrality of this court. That is a positive development.”

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE SUPREME COURT'S RULING? TELL US IN COMMENTS.

John Moreli June 28, 2012 at 04:15 PM
The Obama care will dictate what Doctor you can see, what treatment you can receive and what kind if treatment by age! If you are in your 80's forget it!
Steve June 28, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Once again, you're full of crap John. They already have healthcare for senior citizens. It's called Medicare and seniors choose their doctors and are not being denied coverage.
Steve June 28, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Army doctors versus regular doctors. I see a wrong has been done but don't see the similarity. Please see the case of Cats v Catfish or Apples v Oranges.
John Moreli June 28, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Steve talk to people from Canada, France and other parts of Europe that went to mandated insurance and they will tell you it doesn't work for them! Ask your self why they come here for treatment?
John Moreli June 28, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Steve look at the health insurers stocks rapidly falling! Why? Because the Government will dictate and say that your health providers premiums are to high so we will give you a cheaper one with crappier benefits , so we the Government will save money, but still tax you!
Steve June 28, 2012 at 06:31 PM
They don't come down here for basic or lifesaving healthcare John, they come down here for elective surgery. The wait lists up there might be longer for boob jobs and botox. Besides, the government isn't providing healthcare under "Obamacare", it is providing access to health coverage.
Steve June 28, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Immediate stock prices aren't an indicator of anything John. Stock and oli prices rise and fall on rumors of how dire the world situation will be, then stabilize.
John Moreli June 28, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Fraid not Steve ! They come here for majorly surgery or cancer treatment since its given by how serious one is or the government doesn't think it's necessary! Watch the trouble and crap start here now!
Steve June 28, 2012 at 06:46 PM
A 2009 Harris/Decima poll found 82% of Canadians preferred their healthcare system to the one in the United States, more than ten times as many as the 8% stating a preference for a US-style health care system for Canada while a Strategic Counsel survey in 2008 found 91% of Canadians preferring their healthcare system to that of the U.S.
Lettuce June 28, 2012 at 07:30 PM
FIrst of all, the ruling doesn't mean too much, actually. You are required to have insurance. If you don't have insurance, you have to pay a fine. If you don;t pay the fine, nothing happens. It is a law without consequences. And yes, all the other stuff stands - no limits, no higher premiums based on age, sex or pre-existing conditions. We will have to read all 2400 pages to be clear . . . Steve, don't waste your time arguing with Moreli. Even he does not believe half the crap he says. He just loves loves loves to stir up trouble and aggitate people. He is on Patch all day and all night and does nothing else.
John Moreli June 28, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Lettuce it's not a fine, your going to be taxed by the Odumba care plan!
John Moreli June 28, 2012 at 09:06 PM
Lettuce believe Odumbas plan all you want, as 68% of us don't! I'll see you complaining later when the shit really hits the fan with Odumba care! http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/obamacare-poll-majority-healthcare/2012/06/07/id/441518
tom June 28, 2012 at 09:37 PM
John, Did you even read the survey? http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/07/new-poll-the-supreme-court-and-the-health-care-law/ "Forty-one percent of those surveyed said the court should strike down the entire law, and another 27 percent said the justices should overturn only the individual mandate, which requires most Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty." The poll was conducted by phone and only 976 people participated. Hardly a study large enough to come to the conclusion that you did.
Steve June 28, 2012 at 10:04 PM
Newsmax? You make me laugh!
John Moreli June 28, 2012 at 10:54 PM
Tom did you just watch ABC world news with Diane Sawyer? New and recent poll 56% against Odumba care!
John Moreli June 28, 2012 at 10:57 PM
Well we probably will be stuck with Odumba care, but it looks like hes going to fail with the HSN mandate on contraceptives against religious orginizations!
tom June 29, 2012 at 12:41 AM
What poll are you quoting? http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/06/happy-now-the-mysteries-of-health-care-opinion/ "NBC-Wall Street Journal (June 20-24) found that 37 percent would be pleased if the court overturned the law, while 22 percent would be disappointed. " "While all major polls show opposition to the law, the public still seems to trust the president and his party more on health care, although respondents are lukewarm on everyone. In the June NBC-Wall Street Journal poll, 41 percent said the Democratic Party would “do a better job … dealing with health care,” while 28 percent said the GOP would handle health care better."
John Moreli June 29, 2012 at 03:11 AM
I don't need Odumbas mandatory insurance or have to pay the sticking taxes for not having insurance! Come and get me Odumba, fly here with your big ears!
my opinion June 29, 2012 at 04:49 AM
The medicare costs of covering the uninsured will further bankrupt this state. I know states can opt out, but this is a blue state, how do you think it will go?
Logansdad June 29, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Could you imagine the care Mark Kirk would have received from the VA hospital instead of the care he is getting from his insurance plan as a senator. Members of Congress should be subject to what the average American has for health care until then they will not understand.
Logansdad June 29, 2012 at 01:32 PM
John, before you start criticizing Canadians coming to America for health care, why don't you look up the number of Americans that go to foreign countries to get surgeries done because the cost is prohibitive here in the United States.
Logansdad June 29, 2012 at 01:34 PM
A plan that was based off Romney care. A plan that Romney wanted to take nation wide. Besides Romney has not offered anyting to replace Obamacare (or Aka original Romeycare)
Logansdad June 29, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Do you realize that the uninsured go to emergency rooms now. If they can not pay the bill, who gets stuck paying....the rest of us with insurance. Furtermore why is it that we have no issue paying for kids educations when we do not have children, but when it comes to paying for healthcare for the eldery suddenly everyone doesnt want to?
John Moreli June 29, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Where does the money still come from if someone can't afford Odumbas mandated insurance? Of course us the tax payers! Watch our Federal taxes go up people! Also watch the flood gates open now with illegal immigrants too! Viva insurance!
Tim June 29, 2012 at 02:11 PM
You want the rest of the taxpayers to pay for your ever increasing and unsustainable pension. Now the rest of us want you to pay for healthcare for those without. Life is funny like that John, you paraded around here rubbing it in everyone's faces how your pension will never go away, no matter how much it hurts those that have to pay for it. And you wonder why you are the laughing stock of every Patch site you end up on(after moving on from the previous one because everyone is now ignoring you). Hypocrite.
John Moreli June 29, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Tim I never laughed about a pension, which I'm entitled too! Go head Tim pay taxes for the mandated insurance that will now help more illegal's and watch your taxes go up! I have no problems helping seniors either, that's one reason for medicare and medicade, which I will be on in a few years!
John Moreli June 29, 2012 at 02:34 PM
By the way who in the hell is the Government to tell me if I don't take the mandated insurance they will tax me! They can stick it up their ass as I will refuse both!
Julie Schleitwiler June 29, 2012 at 04:56 PM
In this country, we have had outstanding medical coverage for years. Then malpractice went crazy and forced doctors to stop giving "best care" and move to "safe care" or they can loose their coverage. Insurance companies started dictating charges. And thus began the rat race. Talking with a young cardiologist recently, he told me he is working on an MBA in healthcare, because he cannot afford to stay in practice indefinitely. Malpractice costs him in excess of $100K a year. He felt blessed to have no student loans. Most of his colleagues have $200K or more in loans. Socialized medicine is chasing many outstanding people out of the field. FInding specialists is going to get harder and harder. Let's start looking at ways that we can bring medical costs back to realistic amounts. Doctors can then do what they love. (and it's called practice for a reason) Consumers who are far more savvy now than a generation ago, should start shopping for physicians, hospitals, and treatment based on their needs. We can find the best value for a computer, a car, a cell phone, why not health care for our families? We certainly do not need the government telling us how to live our lives. When they have to abide by the laws they are passing, they will be far more credible. For now, I want them out of my health care and my right to religion.
John Moreli June 29, 2012 at 08:08 PM
I agree Julie ! We are turning into a socialist country now ! If you don't get insurance we will tax you! Get bit Odumba!!
Dock Ellis July 01, 2012 at 02:28 AM
John, I don't think you know what socialism is. You're thinking of government run health care: government run hospitals, government paid doctors, etc. That's single-payer. This system mandates you buy private health insurance. Private. For-profit. You have no idea what you're talking about. Keep reading/watching your right-wing "news," since it is obviously just telling you what you want to hear. Sad, that's all.

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