In a narrow 5-4 landmark ruling, the Supreme Court decided to uphold President Obama’s domestic crowning achievement, the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare. Chief Justice John Roberts, the swing vote, ruled in favor of upholding the health care overhaul.
However, there were four questions surrounding the ACA challenge. The main focus was on the constitutionality of the individual mandate, which requires that the majority of Americans buy health insurance by 2014 or pay a penalty. The government argued that under the Commerce Clause, Congress can require everyone to purchase health insurance, because if they don’t, the collective insured end up paying for it in the end…when the uninsured get hurt or sick.
Chief Justice John Roberts, along with Justices Kennedy, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito, all rejected that argument. However, the Chief Justice wrote the majority opinion, siding with the Obama administration, under the argument that the ACA is a tax, even though it doesn’t fall under the Commerce Clause. This is ironic since the government argued during the hearings that the ACA was not a tax, but hey, they got what they wanted. Justices Ginsubrg, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan all agreed to uphold the mandate but for various reasons.
The Chief Justice believes that the mandate imposes a tax on those who do not buy health insurance and Congress has the power to tax that. Although the purpose of the tax is to have everyone buy health insurance and not raise money, Justice Roberts recognized the ACA as still a tax.
The ruling today drummed up conservative support to defeat President Obama in the 2012 race. During Mitt Romney’s speech on the vote, he stated, “This is a time of choice for the American people. Our mission is clear: If we want to get rid of Obamacare, we’re going to have replace President Obama.”
The rally cry was heard; the Romney campaign has raised over one million dollars since the decision this morning, according to the campaign twitter account.