Supreme Court upholds Obamacare 5-4
June 28th, 2012
12:23 PM ET

Supreme Court upholds Obamacare 5-4

Editor's note: We're live blogging from the Supreme Court today as the nation waits to see how the justices will rule on the health care law. You can follow along below as CNN Supreme Court Producer Bill Mears and Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin get the latest details live from the court as well as analysis when the opinion is delivered. Watch live coverage and analysis on CNN TV, CNN’s mobile apps and http://cnn.com/live.

[Updated at 12:23 p.m. ET] President Obama touted the benefits of the law he championed as he reacted to the Supreme Court's ruling.

"By this August, nearly 13 million of you will receive a rebate from your insurance company because it spent too much on things like administration and CEO bonuses and not enough on your healthcare,” Obama said.

Other benefits include lower drug costs for seniors as well as denying insurers the option to deny coverage because of pre-existing conditions. It also provides free preventative care in certain cases and issues credits to those who can’t afford their health insurance premiums.

Each state will decide its “own menu of options” and they're welcome to come up with ways to cover more people and improve costs, Obama said.

The president said he respects concerns about the bill and he understands that people are worried that it was politically driven, but he said it should be clear by now he didn’t push for the act because it was “good politics."

“I did it because I believed it was good for the American people,” he said.

[twitter https://twitter.com/BarackObama/status/218378521335181312%5D

[Updated at 12:16 p.m. ET] President Barack Obama on Thursday called the Supreme Court's decision upholding his signature health care law "a victory for people all over this country whose lives will be more secure because of this law."

"They’ve reaffirmed a fundamental principle, that here in America, the wealthiest nation on Earth, no illness or accident should lead to any family’s financial ruin,” Obama said.

Opinion: Health care victory, but still a long way to go

[Updated at 12:12 p.m. ET]  Rep. Michelle Bachmann, R-Minnesota, responded to the ruling by saying, "This is a turning point in American history.  We will never be the same again with this denial of liberty interests. But also it is a black cloud pragmatically speaking on economic recovery.  There will be no hope of economic recovery between now and the election. We have exhausted now our legal solutions to be able to rid the nation of Obamacare. Now, we have to look for a political solution."

[Updated at 11:57 a.m. ET] GOP presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney is speaking now regarding health care.

“I will act to repeal Obamacare” if elected president, GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said. “Obamacare was bad law yesterday. It’s bad law today.”

He wet on to cite the economic impact of the healthcare law. It raises taxes and cuts Medicare by hundreds of millions of dollars, while adding trillions to the national debt. It “pushes those obligations onto coming generations.”

Romney said that in light of the Supreme Court decision, Americans must decide if they want more government and more deficits and if they want to lose their preferred insurance or if they want to “return to a time when the American people will have their own choice in healthcare.”

“This is a time of choice for the American people. Our mission is clear: If we want to get rid of Obamacare, we have to replace President Obama,” he said.

[Updated at 11:55 a.m. ET] Vicki Kennedy, the wife of late Sen. Edward Kennedy released the following statement regarding the health care ruling.

"I applaud the decision by the United States Supreme Court this morning, upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. We still have much work to do to implement the law, and I hope we can all come together now to complete that
work. The stakes are too high for us to do otherwise.

As my late husband Senator Edward Kennedy said: 'What we face is above all a moral issue; that at stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country.'"

[Updated at 11:49 a.m. ET] The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said it is for comprehensive healthcare reform, especially for the poor, but it opposes the Supreme Court decision for three reasons.

"First, ACA allows use of federal funds to pay for elective abortions and for plans that cover such abortions, contradicting longstanding federal policy. The risk we identified in this area has already materialized, particularly in the initial approval by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) of “high risk” insurance pools that would have covered abortion.

Second, the Act fails to include necessary language to provide essential conscience protection, both within and beyond the abortion context. We have provided extensive analyses of ACA’s defects with respect to both abortion and conscience. The lack of statutory conscience protections applicable to ACA’s new mandates has been illustrated in dramatic fashion by HHS’s “preventive services” mandate, which forces religious and other employers to cover sterilization and contraception, including abortifacient drugs.

Third, ACA fails to treat immigrant workers and their families fairly. ACA leaves them worse off by not allowing them to purchase health coverage in the new exchanges created under the law, even if they use their own money. This undermines the Act’s stated goal of promoting access to basic life-affirming health care for everyone, especially for those most in need."

[Updated at 11:37 a.m. ET]  Lots of reaction from the political world on this decision, which was seen as an issue that could sway the upcoming election.

But just as much as this is a political issue, the real impact is on everyday Americans.

Here's a look at how some of those people reacted to the decision.

[Updated at 11:37 a.m. ET]  Family Research Council President Tony Perkins made the following comments:

"Today's Supreme Court decision will do serious harm to American families. Not only is the individual mandate a profound attack on our liberties, but it is only one section among hundreds of provisions in the law that will force taxpayers to fund abortions, violate their conscience rights, and impose a massive tax and debt burden on American families.

"The Obama administration has created, for the first time in American history, new federal regulations that toss aside the constitutional right to religious freedom by forcing religious institutions and employers to pay for abortion-causing drugs, contraceptives and sterilizations.

[Updated at 11:30 a.m. ET]  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid gave his reaction to the ruling.

"No longer will American families  be a  car accident or heart attack away from bankruptcy," Reid said. "Unfortunately Republicans in Congress continue to target the rights and benefits guaranteed under this law.  They’d like to give the power back to the insurance companies, the power of life and death back to the insurance companies.  But our supreme court has spoken.  The matter is settled."

[Updated at 11:24 a.m. ET] Al Sharpton, television host and president of the National Action Network, called the decision today a "breakthrough of sunshine in a long dark night of right-wing assaults on the American middle and working class."

"After being bombarded with divisiveness and extremism politics it is refreshing that the courts took a step towards not interfering with the health care of American people that is sadly in jeopardy as clearly addressed by the President's Health Care Act," he added.

[Updated at 11:22 a.m. ET] John Seffrin, CEO of the American Cancer Society, has released a statement which says in part:

"The ruling is a victory for people with cancer and their families nationwide, who for decades have been denied health coverage, charged far more than they can afford for lifesaving care and forced to spend their life savings on necessary treatment, simply because they have a pre-existing condition.

The decision ensures that critical patient protections benefiting cancer patients and survivors will be implemented, such as those prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage to people with a pre-existing condition, requiring insurers to provide consumers with easy-to-understand summaries about their coverage and requiring health plans in the individual market to offer essential benefits needed to prevent and treat a serious condition such as cancer.

The ruling also preserves vital provisions that are already improving the ability of people with cancer and their families to access needed care by ensuring that proven preventive services such as mammograms and colonoscopies are offered at no cost to patients, eliminating arbitrary dollar limits on coverage that can suddenly terminate care and prohibiting insurance companies from unfairly revoking coverage when a person gets sick."

[Updated at 11:20 a.m. ET] This major decision from the Supreme Court has a huge impact on a lot of people, in addition to being historically significant. To help understand it, take a look at our interactive which breaks down the decision.

[Updated at 11:18 a.m. ET] Presumptive GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney will make a statement on the court's ruling at 11:45 a.m., according to his campaign.

[Updated at 11:16 a.m. ET] CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin shares his quick reactions and observations on the ruling:

[Updated at 11:09 a.m. ET] President Barack Obama will deliver remarks in reaction to the ruling at 12:15 p.m. ET.

[Updated at 11:06 a.m. ET] Reaction now coming in at a fast rate, in both statements, and tweets from those on both sides of this issue.

Read the ruling (PDF)

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell denounced the Supreme Court’s ruling, saying the Affordable Healthcare Act has limited choices and increased costs for American.

“Today’s decision makes one thing clear: Congress must act to repeal this misguided law. … Today’s decision does nothing to diminish the fact that Obamacare’s mandates, tax hikes, and Medicare cuts should be repealed and replaced with common sense reforms that lower costs and that the American people actually want.”

McConnell, who has spearheaded Senate GOP efforts to repeal the bill and has delivered more than 110 speeches from the floor concerning the bill, said he promises to make a vote to repeal the healthcare law the primary business of the 2013 session if a GOP majority is voted into the Senate.

Presently, the Senate is controlled by Democrats, while the House is controlled by Republicans.

The RNC has already released a new video and a website, seen below. And Republicans are planning for their next move

And senators on both sides are weighing in.

[Updated at 10:59 a.m. ET] An Obama administration source says the White House really did not know what was going to happen.

They are a bit surprised Roberts ruled to uphold but not Kennedy. The only word for it is elation, this person emphasizes.

iReport: Did court make right decision?

[Updated at 10:58 a.m. ET]  Jeremy Lazarus, president of the American Medical Association, released a statement:

The expanded health care coverage upheld by the Supreme Court will allow patients to see their doctors earlier rather than waiting for treatment until they are sicker and care is more expensive. The decision upholds funding for important research on the effectiveness of drugs and treatments and protects expanded coverage for prevention and wellness care, which has already benefited about 54 million Americans.

The health reform law upheld by the Supreme Court simplifies administrative burdens, including streamlining insurance claims, so physicians and their staff can spend more time with patients and less time on paperwork. It protects those in the Medicare ‘donut hole,’ including the 5.1 million Medicare patients who saved significantly on prescription drugs in 2010 and 2011. These important changes have been made while maintaining our American system with both private and public insurers.”

[Updated at 10:57 a.m. ET] Two key quotes here in the decision:

"The Federal Government does not have the power to order people to buy health insurance. Section 5000A would therefore be unconstitutional if read as a command. The Federal Government does have the power to impose a tax on those without health insurance. Section 5000A is therefore constitutional, because it can reasonably be read as a tax," Roberts said in his opinion

“The Framers created a Federal Government of limited powers, and assigned to this Court the duty of enforcing those limits. The Court does so today. But the Court does not express an opinion on the wisdom of the Affordable Care Act. Under the Constitution, that judgment is reserved to the people.”

[Updated at 10:54 a.m. ET] House Speaker John Boehner renewed calls to reverse the Obama administration's signature health care overhaul after Thursday's Supreme Court decision upholding the act, saying the decision "underscores the urgency of repealing this harmful law in its entirety."

[Updated at 10:52 a.m. ET] House minority leader Nancy Pelosi declared the court's ruling a "victory for the American people."

"With this ruling, Americans will benefit from critical patient protections, lower costs for the middle class, more coverage for families, and greater accountability for the insurance industry," she said.

Pelosi further said that the Affordable Healthcare Act will prevent children from being denied coverage for pre-existing conditions, lower drug costs for seniors and allow students and young adults to stay on their parents’ plan.

“In passing health reform, we made history for our nation and progress for the American people," Pelosi said. "We completed the unfinished business of our society and strengthened the character of our country.  We ensured health care would be a right for all, not a privilege for the few."

[Updated at 10:50 a.m. ET] While the court found the Medicaid provision as it stands is unconstitutional, they said they think the government can make an easy fix to that problem, CNN Supreme Court Producer Bill Mears notes.

“Confident that Congress would not have intended anything different we conclude that the rest of the act need not fall in light of our constitutional holding," Roberts wrote in the majority opinion.

[Updated at 10:48 a.m. ET] National Nurses United issued a statement saying that the Supreme Court decision “should not be seen as the end of the efforts by health care activists for a permanent fix of our broken healthcare system.”

The group will “step up” its campaign  to push for reform for “a universal program based on patient need, not on profits or ability to pay. That’s Medicare for all,” said NNU co-president Jean Ross. “It is not time to stop, but a reminder to begin that effort anew.”

“Nurses experience the crisis our patients continue to endure every day. That’s the reason we will continue to work for reform that is universal, that doesn’t bankrupt families or leave patients in the often cruel hands of merciless insurance companies,” said NNU Co-president Karen Higgins.

[Updated at 10:47 a.m. ET] “Today’s historic ruling by the nation’s highest court marks a significant milestone in our national efforts to improve the delivery and financing of health services in the U.S. and to promote health and wellness rather than disease treatment. The Supreme Court’s decision allows for long-overdue changes made possible by the law to move forward without question or further delay,” said American Public Health Association executive director Georges Benjamin.

[Updated at 10:44 a.m. ET] You can read the full court opinion here (PDF)

[Updated at 10:43 a.m. ET] Chief Justice John Roberts wrote about the individual mandate, citing the taxing clause:

“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 insurance.  Such legislation is within Congress’ power to tax."

[Updated at 10:39 a.m. ET] Swift reaction coming from the Republican National Committee and GOP members:

Saying the high court had set “the stakes for the November election,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said the only way to defeat what the RNC calls “Obamacare” is to elect a new president.

Priebus describes the Affordable Healthcare Act as a “budget-busting government takeover” and says up to 20 million Americans could lose their employer-funded coverage as a result of the act.

“A panel of unelected bureaucrats now has the unprecedented authority to come between elderly patients and their doctors. Meanwhile, the rules and regulations placed on job creators and small businesses make it nearly impossible to hire new workers at a time when Americans desperately need jobs,” Priebus wrote.

[Updated at 10:38 a.m. ET] Physicians for a National Health Program responded critically to the Supreme Court’s decision, saying that the ruling did not amount to universal coverage, 26 million people will remain uninsured, it keeps in place high co-pays and gaps in coverage and it will not control costs.

“Why is this so? Because the ACA perpetuates a dominant role for the private insurance industry. Each year, that industry siphons off hundreds of billions of health care dollars for overhead, profit and the paperwork it demands from doctors and hospitals; it denies care in order to increase insurers’ bottom line; and it obstructs any serious effort to control costs,” the group’s statement said.

It said a “single-payer, improved-Medicare-for-all system” would remedy these problems, including the issue of cost. Ideally, the group said, such a system would pay “all medical bills, streamlines administration, and reins in costs for medications and other supplies through its bargaining clout.”

[Updated at 10:34 a.m. ET] Here are the big main points out of the ruling:

  • Court rules 5-4 to uphold individual mandate
  • Court says the requirement to have insurance is a tax, and is constitutional.
  • Court says on Medicaid that the federal government may not take Medicaid from states that refuse to take part. (That is a limited ruling, without striking it down. In the ruling the court offered the government a way to remedy this potential problem.)
  • Court vindicates, affirms Presidential and congressional power in an important issue like health care.

What this means to you

[Updated at 10:31 a.m. ET] A senior administration official tells CNN that President Barack Obama will speak within a couple of hours.

[Updated at 10:29 a.m. ET] House minority leader Nancy Pelosi has reacted to the ruling:

[Updated at 10:28 a.m. ET] In its 5-4 decision to uphold the U.S. health care law, the Supreme Court answered several key questions:

Question: Can the court decide the constitutionality of health care now, or does it have to wait a few years?

To answer, the court had to decide whether a penalty the law imposes on people who do not have health insurance amounts to a tax.

A previously obscure law mandated that the legality of a tax cannot be challenged until it is imposed, and the health care law doesn't call for penalties until 2014.

The court's answer: The court upheld the entire law.

Question: Is the requirement that people have health insurance - the so-called individual mandate - constitutional?

The court's answer: Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that the commerce clause did not apply, but the mandate stands under the taxing clause.

Question: If the individual mandate is unconstitutional, can the rest of the law stand, or is the whole thing unconstitutional?

The court's answer: The mandate is constitutional, rendering moot further questions on the rest of the law.

Question: Can the federal government force states to expand their share of Medicaid costs and administration?

The court's answer: Yes, but the justices ruled that the federal government cannot remove existing Medicaid funding if the states choose not to participate in the new program.

[Updated at 10:26 a.m. ET] Because the individual mandate has been upheld, and is essentially the funding behind everything else, this can be seen in large part as a major victory for President Obama, CNN Supreme Court Producer Bill Mears said.

Chief Justice John Roberts was the swing vote in the decision, Kate Bolduan reports, joining Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

[Updated at 10:22 a.m. ET] CNN's Kate Bolduan says that while the opinion upholds the healthcare plan, the opinion says the court “does not express any opinion on the wisdom of the Affordable Healthcare Act.”

That judgment is up to the people, according to the ruling.

The importance of the decision cannot be overstated: It will have an immediate and long-term impact on all Americans, both in how they get medicine and health care, and also in vast, yet-unknown areas of "commerce."

[Updated at 10:19 a.m. ET] Even though there's disagreement on the issue, the majority ruling is essentially saying it is up to the branches to work out the differences.

"When a court confronts an unconstitutional statue its endeavor must be to conserve, not destroy the legislation," Ginsburg wrote.

The decision is 110 pages, including the dissent, which was written together by Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas and Alito.

A concurring opinion was written by Justice Ginsberg.

[Updated at 10:16 a.m. ET] Kate Bolduan reports that the Chief Justice John Roberts issued a long opinion in which he said the controversial individual mandate may be upheld and is within Congress’ power under the taxing clause rather than the commerce clause.

[Updated at 10:15 a.m. ET] The Supreme Court has upheld the entire health care law by a vote of 5 to 4, Supreme Court Producer Bill Mears said. That includes the medicare provision.

"[Updated at 10:06 a.m. ET] In a landmark decision that will impact the nation for decades, the Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a key provision of President Barack Obama's health care law, ruling that requiring people to have health insurance violates the Constitution.

Chief Justice John Roberts had noted that however that the mandate would have been struck down based on the commerce clause , saying it would "open a new and vast domain" for Congressional power.

[Updated at 10:00 a.m. ET] A federal law making it a crime to falsely claim military medals earned was struck down Thursday by the Supreme Court. The 6-3 ruling was a free speech victory  but perhaps in name only - for a onetime California public official who publicly lied about winning the prestigious Medal of Honor.

At issue is the constitutional value of false statements of fact, and whether Congress went too far when passing the Stolen Valor Act in 2006.

The Supreme Court ruling effectively has thrown out the Stolen Valor act, a federal law that would make it a crime to lie about receiving certain military honors.

Some justices expressed concerns during February arguments that the act could "chill" other types of speech, while others said they felt the law was narrowly tailored and preserved the integrity of military honors.

[Updated at 9:58 a.m. ET] CNN’s Brian Todd described a lively atmosphere outside the Supreme Court as critics and advocates of government health care – including Tea Party Patriots and the group, Protect Our Care – attempt to “outdo each other with chants.”

Some of the more colorful characters include belly dancers and a man dressed as a American Revolution-era patriot.

The friction over the healthcare issue is on display as the crowd of hundreds makes their sentiments known, Todd said.

[Updated at 9:55 a.m. ET] The five minute warning has gone off in the courtroom and the press room. That's a signal that the public session will begin in five minutes. Soon after that we'll get our first ruling.

[Updated at 9:54 a.m. ET] In addition to this live blog we'll be having full coverage on air, on CNN.com and on our mobile apps. As soon as the ruling comes down our experts will be breaking down what this means on air and in opinion pieces. And we'll likely also hear from many groups weighing in on the issue.

[Updated at 9:47 a.m. ET] CNN Supreme Court Producer Bill Mears notes it has gotten eerily quiet inside the Supreme Court press room. Many, if not most, of the reporters have gone into the actual courtroom to hear the decision.

There are a lot more reporters than normal at the court today, Mears notes, given the likely historic nature of this decision.

[Updated at 9:46 a.m. ET] Nobody will get a heads up on the decision, as is always the case. President Obama, his administration and Congress will all likely be watching TV just like everyone else to get the final word from the Supreme Court.

[Updated at 9:40 a.m. ET] We don't yet precisely when President Obama may react to the court decision. It could be a while after the decision because it could take a while for officials to review the decision if it's convoluted.

[Updated at 9:35 a.m. ET] Most of the reporters who want to hear the opinion being read from the bench have left to go into the courtroom. The general public is also being seated at this time.

Before court begins the public and reporters will be given orders for how everyone should handle themselves when the rulings come down. CNN Supreme Court Producer Bill Mears said it is often solemn and many people are paying intense attention to the justices.

Mears notes that there are lots of security measures in place to make sure no electronics are in the building and to try and look for any signs the general public may want to get in the court. Neither of those are allowed.

[Updated at 9:35 a.m. ET] The court will also post the written opinions on their website within five minutes of when they announce it from the bench.

[Updated at 9:31 a.m. ET] At this point, the opinions have been printed out, likely last night by the government printing office. They were brought over, likely this morning, to the clerk's office and kept under lock and key.

At some point copies will be transported to the public information office, where they will remain until about 10 a.m. ET.

At this point the clerks and justices know ruling. The rest of us are just waiting.

CNN Supreme Court Producer Bill Mears notes that early votes were probably taken after oral arguments, but justices can change their mind, and nothing is set in stone until the full opinions are done and eventually read out.

Many people are worried that there will be a majority opinion, but many different reasonings behind the opinion. A majority is nice, Mears said, but you hope the court will speak with one voice regarding what the Constitution has to say about the issue. It will be helpful for Congress, should they have to make any changes based on the ruling.

It may take some time to figure out exactly what the court is saying and where it is going.

[Updated at 9:29 a.m. ET] Despite the fact that we're awaiting a historic decision at the Supreme Court, the process here at the court is business as usual, Mears said.

Reporters will wait to receive the box containing the Supreme Court opinions. Reporters will line up and grab a copy for themselves and start to break it down.

We may be able to tell you right away whether the individual mandate itself was upheld or not, but there are a lot of questions the justices are looking at here. So it may take a bit of time before we get a full, clear idea of the court's entire ruling. We're waiting to see whether they will handle each issue one-by-one or now.

Speaking of that, here's a quick primer on the main questions the court will be examining:

– Does the law overstep federal authority, particularly with the "individual mandate" that requires nearly everyone to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty?

– Must the entire Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act be scrapped if that key provision is unconstitutional?

– Are the lawsuits brought by the states and other petitioners barred under the Anti-Injunction Act and must they wait until the law goes into effect?

– Are states being "coerced" by the federal government to expand their share of Medicaid costs and administration, with the risk of losing that funding if they refuse?

[Updated at 9:14 a.m. ET] In many ways the frenzy at the courtroom here has a similar feeling to Bush v. Gore, CNN Supreme Court Producer Bill Mears said. But it is even more heightened because for that case the court didn't say when they were going to issue the opinion and it ended up coming down at night.

With health care, we know the ruling is coming down today and you can feel the drama in the air.

Protesters, demonstrators and onlookers have taking that as an opportunity to come and view a part of history. There seems to be a greater intensity and electricity around the court since we know we will get this ruling in about an hour, Mears said.

[Updated at 9:13 a.m. ET] Things will get going in the court at about 10 a.m. Here's how things will begin: The marshal of the court,  Pamela Talkin will gavel the court to order, the audience will rise, the justices will enter from a big, red draped curtain.

The Supreme Court justices stand in front of their seats and the marshal will recite an introduction: "Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! All persons having business before the Honorable, the Supreme Court of the United States, are admonished to draw near and give their attention, for the Court is now sitting. God save the United States and this Honorable Court."

The gavel will bang and everyone will sit and Chief Justice John Roberts will take over.

We expect health care will be the third and last opinion to be released, but we can't be sure of the order.

The Chief Justice will introduce the justice reading the majority decision. That justice will read part of the opinion from the bench. The dissenting judges also have the chance to do the same. When all opinions are done, the court will recess for the summer.

[Updated at 9:00 a.m. ET] We're about an hour from the big ruling and CNN's Supreme Court Producer Bill Mears notes it is a crazed atmosphere in the press room at the Supreme Court this morning.

There's about three dozen live cameras outside and a dozen more other cameras around the building, Mears said. And there are about at least 100 people in line to hear the oral arguments but only 50 to 75 seats available. Not everybody who wants to witness history will get a chance today.

[Posted at 7:00 a.m. ET] The Supreme Court will rule on Thursday on the constitutionality of the health care law and could issue as many as four separate opinions on it.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA or ACA) was signed into law March 23, 2010, passed by a Democratic congressional majority and championed by President Barack Obama. It has about 2,700 pages and contains 450 some provisions.

There are four key issues the court is considering when examining the sweeping health care reform law championed by Obama:

– Does the law overstep federal authority, particularly with the "individual mandate" that requires nearly everyone to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty?

– Must the entire Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act be scrapped if that key provision is unconstitutional?

– Are the lawsuits brought by the states and other petitioners barred under the Anti-Injunction Act and must they wait until the law goes into effect?

– Are states being "coerced" by the federal government to expand their share of Medicaid costs and administration, with the risk of losing that funding if they refuse?

POLITICAL FALLOUT | TOP 4 ISSUES | 5 SCENARIOS | TIMELINE

WHAT'S AT STAKE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES HEALTH CARE BASICS

The high court begins releasing decisions at 10 a.m. ET, and we'll be live blogging throughout the morning bringing you updates from CNN Supreme Court Producer Bill Mears and CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin, among others, to break down the rulings and providing analysis and reaction.

soundoff (2,906 Responses)
  1. Canadian

    Supporting the GOP forces you campaign on: Removing health coverage for sick people, Removing health coverage for sick children, Denying health coverage prescribed by a Doctor for a woman if the employer doesn't approve. Denying people the right to marry. How can you possibly sell that GOP? and who would possibly buy it with their eyes open?

    June 28, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • razmataz

      First of al, not one word of what your sid is true. The GOP just wants it done right. O=care is much too far-reaching, and delves into areas that are far removed form anything to do with health care. But don't let the facts get in the way of you stupidity!

      June 28, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill the Cat

      The Republicans are gain the party of "no". We are the ones fighting for your right to say "NO, I do not want to buy healthcare at tis time". This law is a tax on the poor, and you Dems are too dumb to realize it.

      June 28, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Buhnrain

      Well said Canadian, and quiet frankly growing up in Europe and now a Dual Citizen (US/Europe) I cannot understand why some Americans don't want their fellow citizens to have Healthcare? Is it somehow cool to see your neighbour suffer total loss of assets maybe family or even his/her own life because as the richest nation in the world? we had no insurance? How sad and idiotic!!!!!!!

      June 28, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • cedar rapids

      "The GOP just wants it done right. "

      The gop dont want to do anything at all. They had the chance to do something for 8 years under bush but did absolutely nothing at all, apparently it only became an issue when Obama tried to do something.

      "But don't let the facts get in the way of your stupidity!"

      June 28, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Rick

    Welcome to dictatorship 101. this is the first move of Obama Sin Laden to take over control from the people. Next we'll all be mandated to buy cars that meet the latest emmission standards, or face prison time for not complying with the new "tax".

    Obama is already talking with those who live by sharia law and would love to come to America to enforce it. Obama says he's a Christian. However, attending a Christian church does not make you a christian. I believe he's an apostate in every sense of the word.

    Welcome to the United States of Obomica. We're being "led" down a path toward dicatatorship and democrats, gays, and illegal immigrants are all celebrating it. How blind can you be?

    June 28, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • huhb

      Please explain how a law passed by Congress and upheld by the Supreme Court is reflective of a dictatorship.

      June 28, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • cedar rapids

      dont bother huhb, hes a first class 'rick'

      June 28, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      This is the ignorance I'd like to see... congratulation... name calling makes you look good... and not focusing on the issue makes you a great person... and assuming Obama's religion without going back to the facts.. makes you... a smart guy... NOT!

      June 28, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Fearmongering 101. Please feel free to continue with the lies of the GOP. We aren't as stupid as you think. Also please cite your sources and let the world know how you learned that President Obama is talking to people who promote sharia law and wants to bring it to the US. This is like the BS about the president "wanting" to take our guns and leave us defenseless. Really – Obama is fixin' to destroy Amerika, he's just bidin' his time and waitin' for the right moment. Stockpile food and ammunition so you can wait out the next four years and defend yourself from Libruls.

      June 28, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • gadzooks

      yes, let's get back to the republican plan, do absolutely nothing

      June 28, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • fintastic

      hmmmmmm I see another "I am so angry we have a black man as president" person ranting again.

      Maybe you'd like to have George I wasted all your money Bush back in office?

      June 28, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • aburgos

      Hve you forgotten that they force you to by car insurance, but i dont hear you complaining aboit it.

      June 28, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      to Huhb. first off the law wasn't passed by congress, it was forced through under executive privelidge to begin with. This law makes it the first time that the government can madate commercial purchases under the guise of "taxation". This also sets a presedence for future laws. Anything, and I mean anything that has a federal standard attached to it can be mandated.

      You can now be made to buy a car no more than 2 years old or face "taxes" . Even all the way down to the school lunch program. Parents can face fines sorry "taxes" for not meeting the federal governments "standard" of what their children shouls be eating, even if it's more nutritious than the government standard.

      So what if the President puts out there that no one can own guns more that...let's say 5 years old...You know the democratice side of congress is going to go along with it ust like a good puppy. So lets say this law passes Congress, or get mandated through "executive priveledge". You would then be mandated by law (passed the same way as Obamcare) to turn in every weapon you own or face a "tax". While we're at it let's put a $2,000.00 tax on the purchase of new guns. See where this is going.

      I don't know if you enjoy boating, but the government can now mandate by law that you buy a new boat that meets the latest EPA standard that they set or be "taxed". If you're appliances are more than 3 years old the government now has presidence to impose a tax on you, if they so choose, if you don't buy new ones because they don't meet the current EPA standards. What about meeting a federal government standard for automobile insurance? That could be the next mandate doen the pipe. There isn't anything now that has a government standard that can't be "taxed" for failure to comply, and with the way Obama abuses his executive priveledges Jail time could become the fine, Uhmm.....I mean "tax" . This is only the beginning. Keep watching.

      The Supreme Courts approval of Obamacare sets the presidence for this all to happen.

      June 28, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dman5005

    Great, more taxes

    June 28, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. tony

    Lot of Tea Party netbots on here. All pushing false info hoping enough will stick to screw up the November elections.

    June 28, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      I'm not with the tea party but I'd like to know what kind of false information is being sent out. give some specifics.

      June 28, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Prt. Carl

    As a independent voter I was happy to go with him in the last race anything other then a R from Arizona. But this time I have to go with nummeee from all over the place and I know I live in Massachusetts. We really hate this guy but we need to stop the bleeding and the free hand outs. This is just pure anti American forcing the people to have something or be fined ! Screw all you who think this right Mass may have the lowest number of uninsured in the states but it broke the bank and we are taxed to no end trying to make up for the heath care law here because all we do is pay for the lowlifes from Portia Rico and all the other illegals from south of the boarder . Boy how long will this stay on the board ???

    June 28, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yeah right

      I'm an independent...your statement smacks of Conservative...you may be a closet Conservative, but you are NO independent, you are fooling no one.

      June 28, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • LibMar

      Do you own a vehicle? Pay insurance on it? Connect the dots....

      June 28, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • fintastic

      FYI for numnuts Carl, Puerto Ricans are US citizens........duh!

      June 28, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Whatever

    The same court that ruled that corporations are people.....

    June 28, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Louisiana Mom

    President did not present this case as a tax. Justice Roberts represented President Obama Health Care Reform as a Tax. Everyone in this world should have health care; the good the bad and the ugly!

    June 28, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Rajesh

    OBAMA promised CHANGE...He is delivering!

    June 28, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Cando

    Welcome to Socialism. Thanks Yobama.

    June 28, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Good news for all Americans!

      Still better than socialism for the rich and capitalism for the rest of us!

      June 28, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. commentable

    So we are all on the same page in discussion – this is an example from Washington Post

    Right now:If you have been unable to obtain health insurance as a result of a pre-existing medical condition, you may be able to buy it through one of the “high risk pools” the law has set up in each state through the end of 2013. But the premiums in the pools vary and can be high.

    Starting in 2014:You will have the option of buying a health plan through your state's exchange with federal assistance. Based on your income, your annual premiums for that plan would be no more than $800 to $1,260. Your maximum out-of-pocket costs for deductibles and co-payments would be capped at 15 percent of the total cost.

    Insurers can’t discriminate against you for having a pre-existing condition, and can only vary rates within a narrow range.

    If you do not obtain insurance coverage by 2014 you will be assessed a tax penalty. The penalty becomes progressively greater from 2014 through 2016, when it reaches full strength. At that point, assuming your current income remains the same and your household consists of 1 uninsured adult, you would be subject to a penalty of about $695. You are exempt from the penalty if the least expensive plan option in your area exceeds eight percent of your income.

    So would this person have insurance unless they buy it?
    So what does the fine do? I don’t think it give you insurance?
    It only penalizes you for not having it.
    And if you get sick you can then go buy insurance.

    June 28, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • commentable

      forgot to include- that your are over 26 and single and have income of 20k

      June 28, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Good news for all Americans!

    Bye bye Romney :-)

    OBAMA 2012!!!!!
    HILLARY 2016!!!!

    June 28, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cando

      Bye Bye Obama. Romney 2012 !

      June 28, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  12. tbiltmore

    CNN and Jeffrey Toobin and their followers should be ashamed of their reporting on the SCOTUS Obamacare rulings. Toobin went from a 9-1 prediction on the eve of the SCOTUS March hearings that SCOTUS would uphold the law to wipsawing his viewers on the day of the hearings saying the mandate was dead and the entire law is in jeopardy. I was among a very silent majority of healthcare industry observers relying more on the advice of legal scholars at our major universities who were warning not to read too much into the direction of SCOTUS justice questioning. The media and the impressionable public should learn to listen to non-consensus thinkers particularly when they are basing their opinions on prudent research on their own. For months since the March hearings, I've heard nothing from blog posters but how dumb I am and how I don't know what I'm talking about. ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME AND OTHERS LIKE US NOW?

    June 28, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. t nelson

    Some of you dont seem to care or know that medical expenses are the number 1 cause of bankruptcy....oh yeah thats right if you're poor you deserve to die its the republican way....

    June 28, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Joe Rockbottom

    Good Job Supremes! Thankfully Kennedy was not swayed by the fanatical ultra-right wingers on the court.

    Romney is such an idiot. Why on earth did he suppor the SAME law for Mass, but not for the US. His current stance is pure political pandering to the ultra-right wing base that he needs to have a chance to win. Utterly pathetic. No one in their right mind would vote for such a weak person. Of course the teabaggers will be screeching and crying from now until the have their heart attacks. But now they can get medical care for that!!!!!

    June 28, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. MORE TAXES

    TAX !!!!!! TAX !!!!! TAX !!!!! TAX !!!!! BREAKING NEWS !!!!!! WE AMERICAN'S HAVE A NEW TAX !!!!! TAX !!!! TAX !!!!!

    June 28, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • brandon

      Whine whine whine, thats all i hear from peple like you

      June 28, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      Yep. And remind me again of what taxes President Obama has raised in his first term before this (which I am glad to pay if it means Americans will finally be forced to take responsibility and get f'ing health insurance so I am not subsidizing their unpaid bills with my ridiculous premium hikes year after year? Remind me again of what has occurred to the top tax rates in this country since the 1950s? Laughable.

      June 28, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
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