SCOTUS Declares Obamacare Constitutional

The Supreme Court has upheld the individual mandate of Obamacare. The Court does not deal with any severability issues since they have upheld the individual mandate. While mainstream media first reported that the mandate was struck down, it was SCOTUS blog that called it first.

Furthermore, Amy Howe at SCOTUS blog said, “The money quote from the section on the mandate: 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.”

“On the Medicaid issue, a majority of the Court holds that the Medicaid expansion is constitutional but that it w/b unconstitutional for the federal government to withhold Medicaid funds for non-compliance with the expansion provisions,” Howe wrote.

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So apparently the only effect of not complying with the mandate is that you pay the tax.

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While the Court says that the mandate violates the Constitution under the Commerce Clause, it really does not matter since it have been upheld under the taxing power of Congress. The Court holds that the Anti-Injunction Act doesn’t apply because the label “tax” is not controlling.

According to Justice Ginsberg the 5-4 vote on sustaining the mandate is a form of a tax. She would however, go further than those who voted with her and claim that it could be upheld under the Commerce Clause, which Roberts would not do.

On Salvaging Medicaid, Justice Roberts writes,

“Nothing in our opinion precludes Congress from offering funds under the ACA to expand the availability of health care, and requiring that states accepting such funds comply with the conditions on their use. What Congress is not free to do is to penalize States that choose not to participate in that new program by taking away their existing Medicaid funding.” (p. 55)

To break down in plain English what will definitely take some time to go through:

The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional. There were not five votes to uphold it on the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the states to require everyone to buy health insurance. However, five Justices agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power. That is all that matters. Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding. On that question, the Court held that the provision is constitutional as long as states would only lose new funds if they didn’t comply with the new requirements, rather than all of their funding.

So in a nutshell, Obamacare has been upheld as Constitutional. The real issue for Americans is whether or not we are considered free. According to this ruling, we are not. This is just demonstrating more and more that America is becoming more and more enslaved when the federal government can demand that you purchase a product. This is a very sad day in America.

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