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. MAK

    When I was in school Obama and McCain were running for president. One of the assignments was to compare Obama and McCain's health care plans were almost mirror images of each other. I wonder where we would be if McCain was elected president.

    June 28, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Al

      Yeah, Obama made a lot of promises he didn't keep.

      June 28, 2012 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
    • CJE

      MAK: Here's a hint: FLUSH

      June 28, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  2. Q

    Not sure I understand the Romney plan. Best I can tell it is go on as we are now untill system collapses. Sounds OK, but there may be a better way. Not sure though

    June 28, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. ELIZABETH

    AN ALL AMERICANS DESERVE HEALTH CARE JUSTICE .AFTER ALL, AMERICANS ARE THE RICHEST PEOPLE AND I'M VERY PROUD OF AMERICA. ALL THE BEST.

    June 28, 2012 at 9:42 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. LaLa

    So people without jobs are supposed to buy health insurance? People need jobs with a reasonable health insurance monthly payments. Shoot, the last job I had, their health insurance was $625 a month to cover my entire family and I was bringing 3 paychecks home a month. I am better off working for McDonald's and getting better insurance through them.

    June 28, 2012 at 9:42 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Wynter

      Currently we have millions of people that are uninsured because they can't afford the high rates for coverage. With the ACA, these costs are getting put under control so that the overall cost is lower. This law is actually going to save us money as a whole and make it affordable to have health insurance for those that can't have it now. If you can't afford it you will be subsidized. I don't see why the Tea Party is so against giving the poor healthcare? It's very unchristian of them.

      June 28, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  5. Wynter

    You mean they just aren't going to watch for the color of chimney smoke coming out of Scalia's head to see which way the court went?

    June 28, 2012 at 9:43 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Boo

      LOL!! Good one!!!

      June 28, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  6. Mary Lou

    The Supreme Court strike down of the health reform act would be a major blow to Obama's Presidency. Obama invested so much of his political capital into health reform. If the Supreme Court strike down that health reform act, Obama will be broke. He need a high ROI.

    June 28, 2012 at 9:43 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Wynter

      Actually, it will be a blow to everyone. We will be back to skyrocketing healthcare costs and more and more people being refused coverage because of pre-existing conditions. Way to go Tea Party...

      June 28, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  7. George

    If this is struck down, and my young daughter, who has MS and must have a $30,000 a year drug to keep this horrible disease at bay, cannot stay on our insurance any longer, every Republican reading this can rest assured I will very bitterly hate you for the rest of my life. Don't comment unless you are in a similar situation, for it is not possible to know what we're going through unless you are going through it yourself.

    June 28, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mike W

      Sorry George...maybe bleeding heart liberal reporters who make $10 – $15M per year and advocate for the administration can assist you on this.

      June 28, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
    • ellid

      Your situation is exactly what this law is designed to help. I cannot believe that the Republicans hate Obama so much that they're willing to sacrifice the innocent and the ill for political gain.

      June 28, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
    • hidden powers

      I have MS, i take LDN, it is 20$ a month. those ABC drugs are awaste and toxic

      June 28, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • jC in Western U.S.

      George, I am with you. My son has cystic fibrosis. He isn't yet 26, but if this law is struck down, in five years, he will be "uninsurable" because cystic fibrosis is always fatal and is a pre-existing condition. And I will be with you in blaming Republicans because they could have worked with Democrats and refused to do so. As soon as the law was passed, like every other law, by a majority vote, they devoted their energies to taking away from you, and me, and all the other parents of young adults with life threatening illness, the right to health insurance for our children, paid for by us. I will hate them as much as you do for the rest of my life. And I will do all I can to make sure they never again have a majority in Congress.

      June 28, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Not knowing what state you reside, I cannot be sure what is available. But the Federal Government already funds a program called State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). The program authorizes states to offer free health insurance for children up to age 19. Here in Alabama, the program cannot deny coverage.

      You should look into it.

      June 28, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Proudblackrepublican

      So the taxpayer is supposed to pick up your daughter's $ 30,000 a year tab ? If it requires that much to keep her alive , she is better off dead . Sorry dude but we as a country can NOT afford paying for this.

      June 28, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
    • jC in Western U.S.

      I might be one of the first to post a comment since the decision was announced. I speak for all parents of children with chronic illness, all those who are uninsurable themselves and have jobs without benefits. Damn you Republicans. Damn you to Hell.

      June 28, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Cody

      George,

      I am very sorry to hear about your daughter's situation but let's also note that there are millions of people out there who now LITERALLY won't die from things like cancer because the insurance companies cannot deny coverage due to "pre-existing conditions".

      A few years ago I had severe headaches and with a family history (maternal) of brain aneurysms, I had it checked out. Blue Cross Blue Shield denied my coverage (even though I notified them in writing and phone ahead of time) due to the fact that I had seen a doctor for facial pain (which they called headache) 17 months earlier. My primary care doctor even wrote a letter to me when I went in person to appeal. I was denied and had to pay $3000.

      June 28, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  8. gary

    This is just another anti Obama campain, republicans will fight against anything that Obama does, including stuff they agree with. Most of what is in the affordable care act was originally brought into a bill by the Heritage Foundation (a republican think tank) as well as copied from Romney's own bill from Mass. which by the way seems to be doing well for the people. So most of this is just to keep that anti Obama message going no matter what the topic is.

    June 28, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Wynter

    So much misinformation is being put out by the Tea Party on the ACA. It actually helps lower costs on healthcare for those currently unable to even have healthcare.

    June 28, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • aebe

      We will have to pass it o see what's in it.Nancy Pelosi.And the surprises are each and every one,expensive.
      America will not be able to afford an Act which the O'Bummer negotiated in private with insurance companies,to lock in their profits.
      Instead,the government should have taken the waste and fraud from the programs it is currently running,and then expanded their coverage.

      Validate your 2nd Amendment Rights.Carry.

      June 28, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jC in Western U.S.

    I have given this a lot of thought. I don't think that mandated health insurance can be considered as analogous to car insurance because you CAN choose not to to drive. There is a better analogy. Everyone has to participate in the health care market. Everyone has to participate in housing. And there IS something that government requires you to buy from a private business in order to participate in housing. You can't refuse to buy it. You must have it. There are both individual and societal health and economic consequences to the nation which gives the government the right to require you to buy it: A toilet.

    June 28, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • aebe

      You are right.But,it is the expense of he 'toilet',that is going to be the killer.

      June 28, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    Today, all Americans are going to see many different versions of selfishness.

    June 28, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse | Reply
  12. My Comment

    CNN has been reporting the results of a survey in which they report that 51 percent of Americans surveyed are opposed to the Affordable Care Act. However, when CNN reports on its website it indicates that previous surveys have demonstrated that a portion of that percent are people who oppose the Act because it doesn't go far enough. To report that 51 percent are opposed to the law is misleading and should be changed to indicate how many are opposed because they think it goes too far.

    June 28, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Tonyb

    Tea party morons- they probably need universal health care more than anybody. Sheep to the slaughter.

    June 28, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. bluedeer

    I fail to understand why so many people feel that it's wrong to ensure that everyone has access to affordable health care. There was so much opposition to a public option (Like Canada has and that works just fine) because it would 'drive up costs' (And remember who sets those costs – here's a hint: It's got nothing to do with being nice and fair). This law as it is, is the result of the GOP's oppositions and tinkering just so they could turn around and make a circus out of it. But if anyone who is reasonable and able to remember history, they will remember what the original wording and intent of this law was and what the GOP and big business did to it in order to allow it to pass. For a country of the free, it sure seems like far too many people in it are willing to let someone else decide what they can and can't do or have and that's shameful. People rant about 'socialism' as if it's a bad thing, but seriously, if you're interested in what everyone else has or is doing, you're a socialist whether you like it or not. Socialism is about everyone. Not just the priveledged few. And everyone is what this country was founded on. It would do many people well to remember that.

    June 28, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • PLee

      AMEN! Well said!

      And I'd to add that the US is only 1 or 2 Democratic Industrialized countries in the world that doesn't have some form of Universal Healthcare! Huh?

      June 28, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  15. James Hertz

    I am healthy and insured, but do not mind helping out those who need health insurance and have no access to it. To those who say they shouldn't have to pay for others' problems... well.... my wife and I have no children, yet I pay for your children's public schooling. I'm not complaining. I just hope one of you doesn't develop a medical condition, get laid off, exhaust the (ridiculously expensive) cobra and are left without care nor medication.

    June 28, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse | Reply
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