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. Just the Facts Please

    I hear people voice their opinions against the Law, but never seem to hear (valid) specific reasons why? Is it just because it was spawned from a Democratic Administration? I'm very interested to hear valid reasons why it should be repealed other than the usual generic Big Govenrment, Socialism, Taxation verbage... When someone goes to the ER without Insurance, we (the taxpayers) pay...... Don't get me wrong, I'm no liberal Democrat, nor am I a Far Right Tea Party Republican.....so no partisan bias here. Just the facts please.....

    June 28, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • JAlbertC

      Well said!

      June 28, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bill the Cat

    @ aburgos

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

    Car insurance is mandatory to cover those you hurt in a crash. This is forcing you to protect yourself. It's a "stupid tax" on the poor who can't afford to meet their monthly bills.

    June 28, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Mindie in Indie

    and you pugs are going to be even more unhappy when Obama wins r-eelection.

    June 28, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Christina

    Look. I don't want to offend anyone, but I'm 17 years old and I just graduated high school. If you have finished high school like myself, you took an economics class. I enrolled myself in an AP Economics class; there I learned that when a country is in a recession, the legislative body must employ a expansionary fiscal policy in which government spending is increased. GOVERNMENT SPENDING SHOULD BE INCREASED. It sickens me whenever I see someone saying that we're spending too much. We are in a recession and it is necessary and proper for congress and the president to spend money in order for america to improve the economy. The healthcare bill is expensive, but it is a stimulus to the economy and it will help people who simply can not afford healthcare. Some people can't afford luxuries like health care because they love their career. In other words, they work in a field that they are passionate about not one the makes them superfluous amounts of money. Please, set politics down and pick up a book for goodness sake.

    June 28, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • true

      I can not wait untill you will start working.........to live of your parents it's easy...but work is not.Let's wait for few years,then maybe you will understand.

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

      Christina. Here is the problem. You say you 'learned' that we must increase government spending. Who taught you this? You do realize that you are being indoctrinated to believe liberal ideas, right? You can pump up your economy by government spending, this much I agree with. However, it is not sustainable. What happens when the tax payer money runs out? Well, you print money. Hopefully they taught you what happens when the money supply is artificially increased... It leads to inflation. This is bad for everyone. The only way to get out of a recession is to build up the private sector, where sustainable job growth can occur. We need our government to get out of the way and let that happen.

      June 28, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christina

      That is true. I don't know what it is like to be on my own. I'll find out, just like you found out, but you have to admit I am at least partially correct. Thanks for your input.

      June 28, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • FLBNKR

      Christina,
      While I agree with your comment about politics being put aside, and I support the Affordable Care Act, you are grossly mistaken about the need to affect the economy through government spending. If you would have listened in your AP Economics class, there are multiple strategies that need to be in effect to improve the economy, including the Laissez-Faire approach to SOME economic policies, monetary policies, support of small businesses, and strategies that help grow the economy through Private markets (which is where REAL economic growth occurs). Government spending is part of why our country is in a recession and why when it comes to passing laws like the Affordable Care Act, we need to cut other programs to help fund them. You sound like an intelligent young lady, but as you get out into the workforce and realize the impact government spending (and intervention) has on public and private business and your own personal economy, your tune will change drastically. You cannot compare the recession of today to the Great Depression where government spending actually worked to help right the economy. The fact is this recession was brought on in large part because of government spending, but more importantly government borrowing during the Bush administration, erasing everything that Bill Clinton accomplished but cutting government spending and borrowing, and focusing on what this country really needs which is a MUCH better education system.

      June 28, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • cedar rapids

      "You do realize that you are being indoctrinated to believe liberal ideas, right?"

      jeez, that old nonsense, apparently its amazing that anyone ever comes out of education anything other than a socialist according to people like you.

      June 28, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      I think you will come to find that a) an AP Economics course in high school by no means makes you an expert on government fiscal policy, b) I can pick up plenty of books written by highly intelligent people that both confirm and contradict your position, and c) You can argue that argument all day long (like European leaders have been going back and forth for months on), and find you'll find examples where it has worked and failed, and where not spending in a recession has worked and failed. Just because you were taught one theory in one class does not make you an expert. I'm not saying you are wrong, just that you cannot view it so rigidly.

      As far as loving your career that doesn't make you enough money, that is a personal problem. I have no problem helping those that actually need it, but I have a huge problem helping those who make no effort to be self-sufficient because they "love what they do". I'd love to go fishing and travel non-stop, but I cannot afford that, why should I take care of you because you choose to be in a field that you cannot take care of yourself?

      June 28, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  5. LinSea

    @Bill Long, I remember seeing, not terribly long ago, a 60 Minutes-type program on the CBC all about the massive failures of the Canadian system. They highlighted one young woman who died of breast cancer because she could not get a primary care physician. She just kept getting shuffled from doctor to doctor, none of whom knew her and were too busy to give her the proper care and follow up needed to diagnose her and save her life. She wasn't the only one this sort of thing happened to. They also talked about how even people with doctors frequently can't get in to see them without huge wait periods.

    And if the Canadian system is so wonderful, why do Canadians come swarming down into the U.S. to get treatment?

    June 28, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cindy

      We aren't Canada and have the opportunity to work together to make this the best health care system in the world. Dragging your feet, fighting and crying won't get that done. I know a woman in the US under the current system who is uninsured and denied treatment for stage one breast cancer because of that and the fact she didn't have the money to pay for it. (Her husband had stopped working because of a serious, incapacitating illness and she had quit her job to care for him. Their life savings went toward his care.) She will have to wait until it is at stage 4 to get emergency treatment at a high cost ....just before she dies. How can you turn your back on her?

      June 28, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • cedar rapids

      and the other week that was a news story of a someone that died in emergency room of a hospital in the US because no one saw to her. Quoting a story from Canada really doesnt carry much weight.

      June 28, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. JAlbertC

    It is amazing to me both how many people are ill-informed because they get their news from politically skewed soundbites - or are so politically biases the truth doesn't matter - or simply do not get it. I keep hearing this will cost us more because we have to help pay for those who cant afford insurance right now. What do you think is happening now when those same people who have no means go to emergency room as last resort. At least now they may be able to get preventive care which is far less expensive. Secondly, as a business owner – the fact that many of my employees up to 26 years of age are covered by parents health insurance saves me money. Lastly, it easy to say this doesn't affect me - so leave status quo. Well, that is until you get laid off, or have a pre-existing condition and cannot get coverage - then it will be very personal. I am an Independent. I have no political leanings. Yet, it seems rather strange that Mr Romney is now all against health care reform when he was actually the pioneer who developed this same program at state level. For goodness sake – this is why politicians are looked down on - stick to your principles and at least for me - whether I agree or not - at least earn the respect for fighting for what you believe (instead of simply what gets you elected).

    June 28, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • FLBNKR

      VERY WELL SAID! I posted a link to Obam's FULL speech. It amazes me that even CNN distorts the news. Notice they played a short portion of Obama's Speech, yet they played the ENTIRE Romney speech... I agree with you fully! Yet we say new outlets are unbias?? what a joke!

      June 28, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Susie

    AMEN!!! Finally those who truely need health care will have access to coverage regardless of pre existing conditions. How many of us don't know someone who has a pre-existing condition of some kind? Now those who rely on the health cae community for life saving intervention and medication will have a chance at life without greedy insurance companies playing God and deciding who lives or dies based on cost. Maybe now those doctos who entered into practicewith a true desire to help and heal peoplewill actually get to practice medicine instead of business! THANK YOU PRESIDENT OBAMA!!!!

    June 28, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Mindie in Indie

    so ridiculous – McCain was going to do the EXACT same thing if he was elected and all you dicpicable pigs sorry pugs (intential) would be calling him a Hero. Just goes to show that GOP = Party before Country

    June 28, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Ryanrodr13

    Dear Mitt Romney,

    There a few things you need to understand about the affordable care act that you seem to neglect:

    1. "Obamacare" allows people to choose their doctors and care, therefore you're wrong in your assertion that it takes away choice
    2. Private insurance companies will NEVER be willingly open to covering pre-existing conditions, but you of course know this
    3. The act eventually saves people money and allows them more choice and freedom with their money than privatized (aka selfish) companies allow
    4. Affordable care is not "socialism". Britain has national health care for its people and they aren't socialists, nor does providing equal opportunity and choice for all people immediately equate to socialism....that actually used to be called democracy
    5. You are not able to talk about what is the right way of giving people a choice and advocating for the middle class after your circus act of a career at Bain Capital..

    Do people not realize that Mitt Romney didn't all of a sudden change from being a terrible person just in time for an election?!? He's the same guy he once was. He just likes to whisper sweet nothings in the ears of voters to get a shot at ruining lives on a larger scale.

    Sincerely,
    A voter who has no problem voting for either party, just a problem voting for terrible human beings.

    June 28, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • CapitalistOne

      Really? You are pointing to Britain for your model? That really shows how naive you are. There model sucks, and oh, by the way, they are socialists. Just look at the EU. How stupid can you be?

      June 28, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • cedar rapids

      you have no cue what Britian is or isnt capitalistone. To claim 'they' are socialists is too dumb for words.

      June 28, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • FLBNKR

      You forgot #6... Romney was one of the initial supporters and "pioneers" of this program and health care reform... Now as long as it goes against Obama policy (or Dem policy) it's bad for America... It is sad to see politicians put their jobs before what they actually get paid to do... help the American people.

      June 28, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. CapitalistOne

    No, a horrendous place is one where you can't buy a loaf of bread for your family because of inflation, or a place you can't get energy to heat and light your home because no one can afford it, or a place where your healthcare is free, but completely sucks. Maybe you all should do some research and find out what socialized healthcare looks like, or what happens when your idiot government prints money like crazy. Seriously, can you all be that ignorant? Maybe some of you should live outside the USA for a while and then tell me how bad it is here. Seriously, you all have no perspective. Just give me everything I need and do it right now. That's the generation we live in and it's going to catch up with us.

    June 28, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • cedar rapids

      I have lived in a country that had socialized medicine and quite frankly I had no issue with it. Been to hospital 3 times, once stayed a week in emergency care, no problems, no bill.

      June 28, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jrm

    Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! America is finally starting to do the right thing on this issue.

    June 28, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. R

    The people against this must like to play God... The people who are sick can not get turned away from being insured which I think is a good thing. I see people comparing this to car insurance. Give me a break yes you do have a choice to drive a car but you also have a choice to live. So by repealing this Romney is pretty much saying the insurance companies should have the power to tell you whether you should live or die... Hmmm who seems more evil in this picture...

    June 28, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Mike T

    The fact is, you may not WANT this law but you NEED this law. The fact is while you all bury your right leaning heads in the sand and whine about your Grand Children having to pay for ObamaCare, have you considered that you are already paying for sick people who don't have have insurance? You pay for it every week in your State and Federal taxes. You pay for it each week in your insurance premiums. Heck, at least now your grand children will be able to get medical care so that they can live long enough to pay for this law. I'd rather pay for this in the open than pretend that the uninsured don't cost me money every week.

    June 28, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. dayobserver

    wow...i guess one will never know how things will turn out. i think the supreme court is closer in their decision than people understand - this is actually a tax, but not for those who are not paying today. just additional income drain on the middle class...

    i am disappointed that some revel in additional government overreach and control in their lives. this is how our freedom dies – not with a cry, but the stroke of a pen.

    June 28, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. matt

    in the Bible Jesus healed the sick. in America healthcare has become a luxury. I feel the gop just wants to repeal obamacare, but not replace. the past three republican presidents haven't touched the subject. but when the dems get one passed it's so evil. Why, seems to me the only thing it's gonna hurt is insurance companies profits. Oh ya, there one of the gops biggest supporters. so listening to the gop about what's good for the people is like listening to tobacco companies about how safe cigarettes are.

    June 28, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Hannah

      This health care law was the same as Romneycare in Massachusetts. And that is working fine. Could it be because Obama got it done the right wing doesn't like it. When are we going to do the right thing for the people in America? And take the politics out of it.

      June 28, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan586

      WOW ! GREAT DAY FOR AMERICANS ! In 1 to 2 years 98% of Americans will refuse to give up their ObamaCare.

      June 28, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
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