In a huge win for President Obama, the U.S. Supreme Court this morning ruled 5-4 in favor of the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as "Obamacare," a huge upset from what most political and legal "experts" had been saying and writing about for months.
The Court ruled on four questions: whether it was within Congress’ constitutional powers to impose an “individual mandate” to purchase health insurance; whether all or any additional parts of the law must be struck down if the mandate is rejected; whether an expansion of Medicaid was unduly coercive on the states; and whether all of those questions can even be reviewed before the mandate takes effect.
The Court ruled in favor of the Obama administration on three of the four: On the Medicaid question, the judges ruled that the expansion of Medicaid can move forward, but not its provision that threatens states with the loss of their existing Medicaid funding if the states declined to comply with the expansion.
With the court generally split and Justice Anthony Kennedy considered the swing vote, another surprise was that it was Chief Justice John Roberts, and not Kennedy, who was the swing vote in favor of supporting the Affordable Care Act.
How 'bout some quotes from noted political figures and groups:
SEIU President Mary Kay Henry:
“Today’s decision means that Americans like Dezeray Ybarra, a cancer survivor now in her teens, will have the healthcare she needs as she grows to adulthood.
“It means Kim Klinger, an oncology nurse in Pennsylvania, can continue to deliver the care and treatment her patients deserve and see them have a fighting chance at living a longer life.
“It means that Tee McClenty’s son, who, like so many of his peers, is struggling to find that first good job that offers health insurance, can continue to have healthcare coverage under his parents’ plan.
“Thanks to President Barack Obama and the members of Congress who believed that passing this law would not only save lives, but endow our children with a more promising and secure future, there are more than 100 million Americans of all political parties, ages, incomes and occupations that are benefiting from the Affordable Care Act.
“Americans everywhere are struggling to afford rent, groceries and gas to get to work. The Court’s decision today is vitally important because now is not the time to slow down the benefits of the law that is making healthcare more affordable. Now is the time to keep America moving forward."
Obama lied to the American people. Again. He said it wasn't a tax. Obama lies; freedom dies.
"The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the landmark Affordable Care Act is a monumental victory for our country and the millions of Americans who will continue to benefit from this law. Today the Court reaffirmed the goal that the President and a majority in Congress agreed to—stable and secure health care coverage for our middle class and our nation."
"Because of this ruling, if you have a pre-existing condition, you will be guaranteed health care. If you become gravely ill, there will not be limits on your benefits. If you are a woman, you will not be charged higher premiums. If you have son or daughter without coverage, you will be able to put them on your policy until they are 26. And, if you lose your job, you will not lose coverage.
"The fight over this law is over, and it is time for the GOP to throw in the towel. Congress has debated, their Court has rebuffed them, and now we as a country can move forward to tackle new issues affecting our economy and middle class.
“What’s important to remember is that what the Court rules on is whether something is constitutional or not, not whether it’s a good idea. And while the Court has said that the law is constitutional, it remains a bad idea for our economy, and I hope that in the fall we will have a majority here that will not just repeal this law, but replace it with real solutions that will insure more people and cost a lot less money.”
Hillsborough County Commissioner Mark Sharpe:
"Hell hath no fury like a Tea Partier scorned - this will impact the Nov election. In politics a win can turn against you fast."
Florida Chamber of Commerce:
“We recognize the cost of health care continues to rise. The United States continues to spend more per capita on health care than any other country and the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Index Survey consistently ranks increasing health care costs as one of the leading concerns of small business owners throughout our state.
“But we remain deeply concerned that Obamacare is flawed. As we move forward, it is important that we roll up our sleeves and work toward more meaningful reform that doesn’t hurt employers, impact employee wages, kill jobs and increase red-tape. True reform that makes health care affordable and accessible is needed – not an unrealistic and burdensome Washington mandate."
Amy Kremer, Chairman of the Tea Party Express:
“The Supreme Court ruled to uphold this unprecedented intrusion of the federal government into our personal health care decisions. The American people still reject this legislation as bad policy and unwanted government interference with their lives. We will continue to work to defeat Obamacare at the ballot box in November by electing fiscal conservatives ready and willing to represent the will of the people by fully repealing every piece of this legislation.