The United States Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. The Court ruled that the Obama Administration had actually argued the wrong law to uphold the law, and said that the administration had the constitutional authority to enforce the individual mandate under the government’s taxing power, but not under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution.
It is time to spike the football, shake up the champagne and shoot it in the air,
The Justices did rule against the “all or nothing clause” of the changes in Medicaid, allowing states to craft their own rules for how they spend Medicaid money, so there will be states that opt out of changing Medicaid rules and expanding who can join. The aim had been to open Medicaid the way Vermont’s health insurance is open to all, with a variety of plans available for the unemployed adult, intact families with children, the working poor. The Court ruled that the expansion portion can proceed with this part of the law as long as they don’t threaten the states with loss of all their Medicaid funding.
Scalia, Alito and Thomas voted party line against the whole law, while Roberts and Beyers joined Bader Ginsburg, Kennedy, Kagan, and Sotomayor in voting for it. Individual portions were also voted on.
Correction: The above information was correct as originally reported. However, later it was explained that Scalia, Alito, Thomas and Kennedy had voted against the law, while Roberts, Beyers, Bader Ginsburg, Kagan and Sotomayor had voted for it. Our apologies.