Obamacare, Affordable Care Act, Upheld By Supreme Court

on June 28, 2012 10:29 AM EDT

Obama
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld President Obama's controversial Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare," 5-4 (Photo: Creative Commons)

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld President Obama's controversial Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare," 5-4. The majority opinion was written by Chief Justice John Roberts,  who said the law was a valid exercise of Congress's power to enact taxes.

The main legal challenge surrounded the "individual mandate," which required that all Americans have insurance by 2014 or pay a penalty. The Obama administration defended this policy under Congress's ability to regulate inter-state commerce. People who opposed the bill said it was "unprecedented" to require people to buy a private product, but the Supreme Court ruled differently.

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The court did find issue with the law's expansion of Medicaid, but Justice Roberts said it could proceed forward as long as the Federal Government does not withhold funds from individual states.

The court's four liberal justices, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, joined Roberts in affirming the bill. Justices Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented.

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