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Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare

The Supreme Court this morning announced that it has upheld Obamacare’s individual mandate, which – because it also let stand, with restrictions, the Medicaid expansion provision of the bill – means that basically the entire legislation is deemed constitutional.

Chief Justice John Roberts joined the left wing of the Court in a 5-4 decision that validated the legislation. Roberts led the writing of the opinion.

It appears in focusing on Justice Anthony Kennedy, everyone had the wrong guy. Kennedy sided with the conservatives and said today that the entire law should be held unconstitutional.

Apparently, what has happened is that the Court decided that what is described in the legislation as a penalty – or a fee – is actually a tax, and Congress has an unchallenged power to tax. From the decision:

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.

The “tax” is assessed if individuals don’t purchase health insurance, which is the enforcement mechanism of the mandate.

The mandate was not challenged separately from the rest of the law – except for the Medicaid provision – so the rest of the law automatically stands.

The premise of the arguments against Obamacare was that Congress in passing it was violating the Constitution by creating a right it doesn’t have – the right to compel commerce by forcing you to buy something.

This might be true if the penalty for not engaging in commerce was a fee. But if it’s considered a tax, then Congress can be deemed – as it was today by the Court – merely to be exercising its Constitutional right to tax you.

There was not a majority on the Court to hold Obamacare Constitutional if the penalty was considered a fee instead of a tax.

The Medicaid expansion was allowed, but the Court limite the penalties that could be assessed on states that decide not to comply with it.

H/T to SCOTUSblog for its coverage of the announcement.

51 thoughts on “Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare”

      1. I’m done with all of this. As far as I’m concerned, Barry just took one giant leap toward his reelection today, with Roberts’ help. Romney doesn’t have what it takes to beat this jerk, so we’re all screwed.

  1. UN-effing-believable! Roberts, that scumbag!

    That’s it, I’m done. I’m out of here. This is not the country that I was once happy to live in.

      1. One of the things that has stopped me from relocating has been the socialized medicine everywhere else. Guess it doesn’t matter anymore.

      1. That’s exactly my plan, grace. If he manages to STEAL this election, which I think the Dems are planning, I’m out for good.

        1. If Obama loses, this country has a chance. But I agree, there will be a huge potential for voter fraud. If he wins, 4 more years America will be unrecognizable. Right now, as always, at the gift giving security blanket stage of socialism all looks hopeful for those who believe! Later, liberty and freedoms will slip away under the wing of the state and normal avenues of dissent will be unavailable The decline and wreckage will be slow but thorough. When the destruction ends, the rebuilding of spirit and country will be huge. Sounds rather dramatic and paranoid even to me. But I’ve seen it and it kills the human spirit. So, the time to fight is now.

  2. The focus of the presidential campaign may have just changed from “it’s the economy” to “it’s the economy and Obamacare.” Assuming the polls are accurate and Obamacare is as unpopular as they suggest, this could now become a very critical part of the Republican presidential platform. And the repeal of Obamacare is much more understandable than the nuances of how a person proposes to “fix” the economy.

    1. Chuck, unfortunately there’s a large portion of those who don’t think it went far enough. They are also included in it’s unpopularity.

      But, yes, this election has just become WAY more important.

  3. The only upside is that now Obama will henceforth be tied to that poisonous election-year word ‘TAX’. It killed Bush 41’s reelection hopes and it may sink Obama. Once can only hope; I feel sick inside that this isn’t my country any more.

  4. I’m trying to find the good news here….? If this becomes a “tax” all taxes flow to the gvmt. How exactly are the insurance companies going to be paid or cover their costs? Whenever you pay the gvmt to do something remeber the gvmt get’s paid first. Take your vitamins and pray you don’t get sick!

    1. Companies will get their payments when they show they have done what the government has told them to do. When they meet certain quota – as laid out by the government – and when they adopt the government mandates of who gets medicines and cutting edge treatments, and who is left to die. And please don’t believe they’ll get full payment, either. Once the government sees money coming in, a thousand little greasy fingers wiggle out to grab it and “redistribute” it to more “worthy” causes. You know, because health care isn’t as worthy as bridges to nowhere and defunct solar companies.

  5. On the upside, this will ignite a resurgence of the Tea Party which will lead to obama’s defeat in Nov. Gov Romney will repeal this monster.

  6. Obama just won the battle – but lost the war! Millions will be turned away from State Medicaid rolls. Where are they going to go? Who is going to pay for them? We are, of course! Huge tax hikes coming down the pike. Congratulations, President Romney!

  7. So if it’s illegal and unconstitutional, we can just slap the word “tax” on it and all is peachy keen jelly bean? Then I think I’ll just be running up to my government financed bank, holding it at gunpoint, and asking for “tax” money, because that couldn’t possibly be illegal.

    Seriously, how hard is it to look at the Constitution and Bill of Rights? How difficult could it possibly be to realize this is illegal under the rules of our country? One of the very reasons we broke away from Britain was because of moves like this by a government which refused to listen to the will of the people. If we don’t get these clowns out, I’m afraid we’re going to watch them literally try to convince citizens that the Constitution itself is illegal, so they have to create a new, more “equal” statement of “our” country’s beliefs and the “rights” of her citizens…as decided by the Socialist doctrine.

  8. Listened to the arguments on this case and the government never argued the mandate as a tax. Roberts can pat himself on the back for helping this administration destroy America. Time to go Gault.

  9. Dear God, Is there now end to this!? I wonder how many or how far and if we have lost our way to the point of no return or if we’ve just been silent.

  10. dems and their thugs threatened johnny roberts and he caved in like a yellow rat. it’s now official; ‘Chief Justice’ Roberts is a miserable wimp, gutless wonder.
    but wait, America; we can still beat the dem bastards in Nov. and repeal this p.o.s. and most if not all obamagarbage.

    We can do it.

    Mr. Chief Justice, you are a coward.

  11. Well I guess Roberts the Rogue just handed Obama 4 more years. Now those
    pesky little executive orders and going around congress will be the standard
    procedure now we know have an Imperial President emboldened.
    We are so screwed.

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