UPDATED, 12:42 p.m. EDT: Obama: Health care ruling “a victory” for all: President Obama, speaking from the White House, said in remarks on the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act: “Whatever the politics, today’s decision was a victory for people all over this country.” He added, “I know the debate over this law has been divisive … It should be pretty clear by now that I didn’t do this because I believed it was good politics.”
In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court has upheld the individual health-insurance mandate that is at the heart of President Obama’s landmark health care law, saying that it is permissible under Congress’ taxing authority.
From the Washington Post:
The potentially game-changing, election-year decision — a major victory for the White House less than five months before the November elections — will help redefine the power of the national government and affect the health-care choices of millions of Americans.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. sided with the majority in voting to uphold the law, Obama’s signature domestic initiative.
Passage of the legislation by the Democratic-controlled Congress in 2010 capped decades of efforts to implement a national program of health care. The legislation is expected to eventually extend health-care coverage to more than 30 million Americans who currently lack it.
Republicans in Congress and GOP presidential challenger Mitt Romney have vowed to try and repeal the measure after the November elections.
The health-care issue thrust the Supreme Court into the public spotlight unlike anything since its role in the 2000 presidential election. The court’s examination of the law received massive coverage — especially during three days of oral arguments in March — and its outcome remained Washington’s most closely guarded secret.