The Supreme Court upheld Obamacare, or as I affectionately like to call it, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
From the Washington Post, “Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. on Thursday joined the liberal wing of the Supreme Court to save the heart of President Obama’s landmark health-care law, agreeing that the requirement for nearly all Americans to secure health insurance is permissible under Congress’s taxing authority. Even as it upheld that central component of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, however, the court modified another key provision of the law, ruling that states may decide not to participate in a broad expansion of Medicaid eligibility without losing their existing Medicaid funding.”
The usual suspect dissented, that being Scalia, Kennedy, Alito, and Thomas, in the 6-4 ruling by the Supreme Court. What veers off into the less than usual is the written dissent which harshly criticizes the health care law as not a law but a jumbled mess written by “certain interests”. Even the habitually reticent Clarence Thomas chimed in to say “I dissent for the reasons stated in our joint opinion, but I write separately to say a word about the Commerce Clause. The joint dissent and THE CHIEF JUSTICE correctly apply our precedents to conclude that the Individual Mandate is beyond the power granted to Congress under the Commerce Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause.”
I honestly expected the individual mandate, which requires citizens to have health care coverage, to be struck down but the court ruled that it is valid as a tax, even though it is impermissible under the Constitution’s commerce clause. What I’ll write about later is what this will mean for Prince George’s County and the estimated 80,000 people who have no insurance.