The wait for the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act—what some call "Obamacare"—is over.
On Thursday, the last day of the 2011-2012 Supreme Court session, Chief Justice John Roberts said the individual mandate may be upheld as a tax under a narrow reading of the Constitution.
"The individual mandate cannot be upheld as an exercise of Congress's power under the Commerce Clause," Roberts wrote. "That Clause authorizes Congress to regulate interstate commerce, not to order individuals to engage in it. In this case, however, it is reasonable to construe what Congress has done as increasing taxes on those who have a certain amount of income, but choose to go without health insurance. Such legislation is within Congress's power to tax."
A circus-like atmosphere outside the court, with media and protesters milling about, awaited the decision to be handed down this morning.
Presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney has promised, if elected president, to “repeal and replace” the effort to provide health care to all Americans via an individual mandate to buy private insurance. Did the court overreach? Or did justices render a just verdict? Vote in the Patch poll.
See the Supreme Court decision and a detailed summary of the Act, in PDFs at the right.