The Supreme Court has backed the controversial Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that is also known as Obamacare, signed by the President Barack Obama in 2010. In a televised White House statement, Obama has described the decision of the court as a victory for the common people living all over the country. According to Obama, this law has secured the lives of people more than before. He also said that he did not initiate the law for any political purpose but with the belief that it would be good for the country.
The Supreme Court upheld the law’s mandate in a 5-4 decision, turning over guesswork after the hostile oral arguments in March that the law could be overturned by the justices. The four liberal justices of the court considered to uphold the mandate as a part of Congress’ power to control thruway commerce. However, the Chief Justice John Roberts disagreed to this idea and suggested the mandate as a tax, as the law would require people, who do not have healthcare insurance, to pay one percent of their income to the IRS from 2014. Though the government was open to the idea of considering the mandate as a tax in an argument in the court, it did not show much reliance on that argument.
However, justice Anthony Kennedy along with other three conservative justices – Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, and Samuel Alito – dissented to the suggestion of Roberts. In a 65-page dissent, they dismissed the idea of considering the mandate as a tax and said that imposing a tax did not construe the bill but to modify it.
Twenty-six American states sued over the bill. They termed the bill as unconstitutional as it will require people to buy health insurance or to pay fine from 2014. However, the government said that every person would need health care at some point of his or her life. So, the law was nothing more than to control a market that everybody was by now in.
House Republicans have expressed their discontent over the law and affirmed to repeal it. However, the Senate controlled by Democratic is unlikely to make that happen.
Seven out of nine judges agreed that the bill’s expansion to Medicaid to an extension of anticipated 16 million small-income people by 2019 was unlawful as it was written. According to the court’s decision, the federal government does not have any power to make pressure to take out the states’ existing Medicaid funds if they do not inflate Medicaid. Instead, the government was allowed to hold back only future funds. The meaning of this decision is still unclear as it can mean the coverage of less than the estimated 16 million people.
The Congressional Budget Office has expected almost 32 million uninsured people to get coverage under the law.