U.S. President Barack Obama and his camp won a battle today (Thursday) when the Supreme Court handed down its landmark Obamacare ruling and upheld the constitutionality of the controversial healthcare law.
Just after 10 a.m. EDT word came that the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, upheld a key provision of the law that requires all individuals to have health insurance.
Starting in 2014, Obamacare, more formally known as The Protection and Affordable Care Act, is set to impose massive penalties (taxes) on young workers, small business and others who choose not to buy health insurance.
Chief Justice Roberts wrote the bulk of the opinion, which held that the Commerce Clause of the Constitution does not give Congress the authority to require health care, but that other parts of the Constitution did. That provision is aimed at bolstering the financial viability of the insurance system, with the objective of extending healthcare coverage to some 30 million American who are currently without it.
The Obamacare ruling will have an immediate and long-term impact on all Americans in how they get medicine, receive health care, and interpret the unknown areas of healthcare "commerce."
The ruling does not bode well for those looking for jobs. Small business owners will be less likely to hire and large businesses won't ramp up hiring. The elevated unemployment rate is bound to stay high and may very well get higher.
The markets reacted with hospital stocks jumping up, insurance stocks falling, and the Dow Jones losing more than 130 points by 12:30 p.m.
President Obama, defending his healthcare law to a swarm of supporters in Atlanta on Tuesday, said, "They understand we don't need to re-fight the battle over health care. It's the right thing to do that we've got 3 million young people who are on their parent's health insurance plans that didn't have it before. It's the right thing to do to give seniors discounts on their prescription drugs. It's the right thing to do to give 30 million Americans health insurance that didn't have it before."
An Obamacare Ruling Not the End of the Healthcare Battle
The decision, coming in an election year, will have sweeping political and economic ramifications. Obamacare is a pivotal element in Election 2012.
Vehemently against the healthcare reform and having fought the law at every stage, Republicans are set to redouble their calls to repeal Obamacare if the GOP wins control in the November election.
Romney has made his opposition to the law a major issue on the campaign trail.
He told supporters in Virginia ahead of the ruling, "If it is deemed to stand, then I'll tell you one thing. Then we'll have to have a president -and I'm that one-that's gonna get rid of Obamacare. We're gonna stop it on day one."
Passed by Congress on March 21, 2010, and signed into federal law by President Obama two days later, opponents argued that this law began the process to socialize the U.S. healthcare system. Its passage played a major role in the rising of the Tea Party, the staunch conservative anti-government movement.
The stock market, down sharply today in anticipation of the Supreme Court Obamacare ruling, fell further after the decision was announced.
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- Business Week:
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