The Supreme Court has ruled that the individual mandate, a cornerstone of ObamaCare, is unconstitutional under the commerce clause.
However, the Supreme Court has upheld by a 6-3 vote that the requirement that most Americans have health insurance falls not under the commerce clause, but under taxation.
“Our precedent demonstrates that Congress had the power to impose the exaction in Section 5000A under the taxing power, and that Section 5000A need not be read to do more than impose a tax. This is sufficient to sustain it,” said the opinion.
The Medicaid provision has been limited but not invalidated — the expansion can proceed as long as the federal government does not threaten to withhold states’ entire Medicaid allotment if they choose to not take part in the extension. In a 5-4 split, Chief Justice John Roberts joined liberal justices in that decision.
ObamaCare as a whole has been upheld as constitutional.
The ruling throws the healthcare law back into the campaign season as a measure that could be repealed either by Congress or executive order.
“Today’s decision makes one thing clear: Congress must act to repeal this misguided law. Obamacare has not only limited choices and increased health care costs for American families, it has made it harder for American businesses to hire,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said. “Today’s decision does nothing to diminish the fact that Obamacare’s mandates, tax hikes, and Medicare cuts should be repealed and replaced with common sense reforms that lower costs and that the American people actually want.”
“Our Supreme Court has spoken; the matter is settled,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said on the floor of the upper chamber.