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

[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.


[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 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?



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. Jasie

    everybody knows that when the gov't is involved, it takes 5 people to screw in a light bulb.

    June 28, 2012 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Allinit123

      Don't you wish you had a light bulb up in your head?.. pathetic..

      June 28, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  2. Common Sense

    I think that it is interesting that some people believe that if the people who either choose to not have insurance or cannot afford to purchase it will suddenly have the ability to pay for 1) the premium (as it is not free) and 2) that they will be able to pay the medical costs that are not covered by the "Plan." The coverage that is being discussed is lmore expensive an less benefits than what people who are covered have now....If you go to the hospital and the bill is $10,000.00 you will still owe about $2,000.00. All of the services are not FREE.....This is much more that just lending a helping hand to someone in need...I actually work in the insurance industry and have listened in to the government relations meetings. Most people have no idea what is going to happen if this is not stopped and corrected.

    June 28, 2012 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Veritas

      Thats why it was dubbed "affordable health care" and not "free health care."

      June 28, 2012 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Rbnlegnd

      If your coverage has provisions that end up with you paying 20% then yes, that's the coverage you get. That's not the case in every state or with every plan. A minimum plan that covers 80% of hospitalization is better than what uninsured people have now.

      June 28, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      You seem like a smart guy, but you have to understand. 99% of America doesn't know anything about Obamacare beyond the little snippets they hear on the news once in a while. The majority of Republicans want it taken down because it was Obama who implemented it.

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

      I stopped when I read "I work in the insurance industry"...I'm sure you are a fine person...but, with all due respect...the insurance industry IS the problem. There is no reason that Congress should impose a mandate for each citizen to have to pay a private company... that is not the free market, that is the government mandating payments to private companies for no public good. If it wasn't for the insurance company's paying off Congress we would have a true single-payer system and all the waste and bloat which is created by the worhtless insurance middle-man system would be taken out of the equation...of course, I mean no disrespect, but this is the truth.

      June 28, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • 12weekstudy

      So I have top of the line insurance, pay 5k a year in premiums, have payed these premiums for over a decade....thats 50k or there about. How much have I used? zero, I have not been sick, have not been 50k of my money has gone to your company and for what? At least with the government program it will be going to other people who actually need it...not for profits...Insurance companies are a soft spot of mine....I apologize, I didn't see this stink when my state required car insurance (Full coverage!)......if you don't have it you don't get a 1% tax bill, you get a fine, your car towed, a date with a judge...interesting

      June 28, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Samantha

    Hail to the selfish Americans that have health care but feel others should not have the same. I've always had health care on my jobs but I see so many that work every day that don't. It's a shame that some of you dead heads believe only some should have that benefit.

    June 28, 2012 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
    • gobnait

      Yes, god forbid that people be self-reliant and responsible for taking care of their own. Why do you think you deserve the fruit of other people's labor?

      June 28, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Allinit123

      Don't forget, a lot of the knotheads don't have insurance and don't want to have to pay for it with the mandate..

      June 28, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
    • DavidT

      How obtuse. Is that as far as your socialistic eyes can perceive? For most without health care it comes down to a decision between health insurance and paying the rent. Would you like a mandate for paying rent too for those people? Have fun paying 99% of your paycheck to taxes.

      June 28, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • huff

      Both sides of political spectrum want people to have affordable healthcare. The problem is the cost and who pays for it. In the USA only 43 million (Obama/Dems figure) do not have insurance. Obamacare would provide insurance to only 23 million of those (others are inelgible such as illegals). Look at the cost of Obamacare for insurance for just 23 million and the cost to those that already have good insurance. The idea of healthcare for everyone is good but this plan is horribly wrong.

      June 28, 2012 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • aebe

      How many people are you willing to provide insurance for ?
      If instead of a mandate,the government had simply ( 🙂 ) cleaned up,taken care of the waste and fraud in public health care programs it is presently operating,healh care could be provided at much less expense,as there are no insurance companies to increase expenses.That is,if the government did not use those companies as a source of funding.
      Medi-Care and most other government plans use private doctors and hospitals,and people get very good care for the most part.

      Validate your 2nd Amendment Rights.Carry.

      June 28, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. shock and awe

    Social Security – bankrupt. Medicare – bankrupt. Now another welfare project is going to be a charm?

    June 28, 2012 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Alabama Black Snake

      Social Security was fine until that piece of garbage Reagan got his hands on it. Clinton returned it to being solvent, but then Bush trashed it again.

      It's amazing how you southern subhuman animals can twist anything to match your evil, wicked, Southern agenda.

      June 28, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • crazeelegs

      @shock and awe: SS is not bankrupt, nor is Mcare. And certainly this act is not "welfare". People must pay for their care & this act doesn't increase the deficit b/c it is paid for. But, finally, millions of Americans can now get affordable insurance, not be canceled or have pre-existing conditions not covered. Look up the highlights of the ACA & then, if you think objectively, you will see that it is a great, great act.

      June 28, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Jack from Tennessee

      Shock and wave.. Really.. Turn off Fox educate yourself then maybe you can have a informative conversation with adults.

      June 28, 2012 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Attican

      How uninformed can you possibly be??? medicare??? social security??? yeah....?? well blame your GOP "false God" Reagan for that!!! you typical goose-stepping conservative robot!!

      June 28, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  5. gobnait

    Is that the famous liberal civility that your ilk claims? Very nice.

    June 28, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
    • sputnick1

      ilk????? Please learn how to spell.

      June 28, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Gaunt


      dictionary. reference. com/browse/ilk


      June 28, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • cedar rapids

      actually ilk is correct, in this use it means people similar to yourself.

      June 28, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • chirpie

      Sputnik you're making rational people look bad.

      June 28, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Joshua P

      Actually ilk is a word,I recommend getting a dictionairy.

      June 28, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Giff

      Though you are correct, I just can't resist the irony here. Seriously?

      June 28, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • freedom lover

      Buy a dictionary

      June 28, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • David Mariscal

      Ilk is a real word:
      A type of people or things similar to those already referred to: "reporters of his ilk".

      If that was a troll well done, if not READ A BOOK.

      June 28, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Angie

      He DID spell it correctly you moron! Go read a book, or better yet – a dictionary (roll eyes)

      June 28, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Theheroguy

      He did not misspell the word ilk. You are apparently just ignorant to it's existence.

      June 28, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Safe in Texas

      Maybe you should go back to school and learn the definition of words or, better yet, quit posting.

      June 28, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Sharon Smith

      ilk is a word and it is used appropriately here and spelled correctly

      June 28, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • absoluteabsence

      Actually 'ilk' is the correct spellling...ilk – Noun: A type of people or things similar to those already referred to: "reporters of his ilk".

      Go Obama!!!!

      June 28, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Sand13

      Ilk is a common word meaning type, family, or kind. Also, it's the proper spelling. Please increase your vocabulary in order to avoid any future misunderstandings.

      June 28, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Bzen from Noo Yawk

      "Ilk" is spelled correctly. "Sputnick" on the other hand...

      June 28, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • merrymelinda

      People of YOUR ilk should refrain from commenting, sunshine. As the old saying goes, better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool rather than opening it and removing all doubt.

      June 28, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Yes it is a word

      Yes, "ilk" is a word. Look it up. Some of us communicate using more than just the vernacular.

      June 28, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • MC

      Please get a dictionary before attacking people for words that are spelled correctly.

      June 28, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Decorated Vet

      Ilk is a word....look it up!

      June 28, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      ilk is properly spelled –

      ilk 1 (ɪlk)

      — n
      1. a type; class; sort (esp in the phrase of that, his, her, etc, ilk ): people of that ilk should not be allowed here
      2. ( Scot ) of that ilk of the place of the same name: used to indicate that the person named is proprietor or laird of the place named: Moncrieff of that ilk

      usage Although the use of ilk in the sense of sense 1 is sometimes condemned as being the result of a misunderstanding of the original Scottish expression of that ilk , it is nevertheless well established and generally acceptable

      June 28, 2012 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Mader

      ilk |ilk|
      noun [in sing. ]
      a type of people or things similar to those already referred to : the veiled suggestions that reporters of his ilk seem to be so good at | fascists, racists, and others of that ilk.

      Good work. You've proved you don't know anything.

      June 28, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • FreeDictionary

      ilk 1 (lk)
      Type or kind: can't trust people of that ilk.

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

      Ilk.People you do not want your daughter hanging around with.
      Check it out.

      Validate your 2nd Amendment Rights.Cary.

      June 28, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      hatred of the opposition, very patriotic of you

      June 28, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Spaghetti Monster (Not to be confused with the Great Flying Spaghetti Monster)

      Meh, you get it from both sides. Dems say GOPers are bigots/elitists/religious sheep and GOPers say Dems are socialist/communist/spineless. Typical politics, can't argue a valid point? Just attack the other person. This should provide an interesting few days of trolls and weeks/months of extreme biparisanship.

      June 28, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Notimeforextemists

      Spaghetti, you seem to be the only ony with any sense.. It's a good thing I'm just sitting at my doctors waiting room. Otherwise reading 99% of these posts would have been a total waste of time.

      Can someone please explain to me why I a small business owner have to pay $800 per month for health insurance with a $7k family yearly deductible with no coverage for preexisting conditions?

      June 28, 2012 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Lew

      Gobnait, if you are commenting on that crack about "Republican suicides today", I'm in total agreement. I support the law that was upheld today, but I really would rather that folks of my ilk, well, everybody, take the high road as best they can. I'm *actually* going to refrain from publicly gloating or conservative-baiting in any form.

      June 28, 2012 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Casual Observer

      The bill you will be receiving for this ruling will be wiping the smirk from your face in short order.

      June 28, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • tekstep1

      I won't HAHA GOP!!!!

      June 28, 2012 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Ralplh

      Lew, gloating is acceptable, but I am sure you will credit George Bush for appointing the Chief Justice who was instrumental in this decision.

      June 28, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      Well, Lew, as a physician, I can now basically DOUBLE my business because NOW all of the poor MUST be insured–which will cost them either $600 dollars per year OR 2.5% of their income, while *I* get to be paid IN FULL by the Federal Government. I guess you never THOUGHT of this from the PHYSICIAN'S **BUSINESS** PERSPECTIVE. And don't be fooled: John D. Rockefeller FOUNDED the American Medical Association. It was NEVER meant to be philanthropic, Hippocratic, or virtuous. It was meant to EARN A PROFIT. And, now it shall earn more.

      All the while, the poor will PAY MORE for health care. FAR MORE poor Americans fall under the "2.5%" area than the "$600 dollar penalty" area.

      June 28, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • mickey1313

      Tony, your comment is why we should have pushed for single payer public option. But the ama has too many politicians bought and paied for to get fair healthcare

      June 28, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phantom Heston

      Is "ilk" going to be our word for the rest of the week? Reminds me of the 80's.. "The liberals and their ilk" lol

      June 28, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Mitt Romney's Dog

      Civility? Nope. Get used to losing, Republican. It's war, and you're losing (as usual).

      June 28, 2012 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  6. Frank

    How is it the we have to buy CAR INSURANCE mandatory, but we can't have HEALTH INSURANCE mandate to everyone ????
    How is it the we are require to buy insurance for car, but not for the health care??
    Are cars more important then people's health??

    June 28, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Al

      Because not everyone owns a car and therefore does not need to buy car insurance. You have the choice not to drive (i.e. not to pay for car insurance).

      June 28, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • CJE

      You can choose whether or not to buy a car. Was that a real question, or are you really like that?

      June 28, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • gobnait

      Can't believe there are still people who don't understand the difference between the two but here you go: One is NOT forced to own a car; it is a CHOICE. If you CHOOSE to own a car, you must agree to purchase insurance. Obama wants to FORCE you to purchase health insurance whether you want to or not.

      June 28, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Tonya Smith

      Frank, car insurance is one of reasons we can't afford health insurance. It costs too much. And if you have to use it, the premium goes up. Come live in my world for a day and it will be self explanitory.

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

      Al, how do we determine who has opted not to recieve medical treatment when they show up at the hospital unresponsive with no identification? That's a rhetorical question, we don't, we can't. The hospital is going to treat them without knowing who they are or if they have insurance. Then, when they recover enough to provide identification, if they have no insurance, and no money, the hospital will still provide care until it is safe to kick them out. You can't opt out of getting medical care.

      Not only that, when someone is young and not aware of any health problems, they think they don't need insurance. Then, some time later, they find they do have a health problem, and they find out what it costs. So, they try to get insurance at that point, but, they can't. So, they get substandard medical care until their health problem becomes life threatening, at which point they run up a huge, uninsured, bill, and either die, or get stabilized enough to go home and wait for it to happen again. That uninsured emergency care is another instance of a patient who can't opt-out, but isn't covered. The only way the system works is if everyone has coverage, all the time, or we find a way to deny treatment, all treatment, to the people who don't.

      June 28, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
    • fsmith

      Frank – the difference between health care and car insurance: If you don't want to pay for car insurance – then don't own a one is forcing you own a vehicle, but if you do.....then you have to have insurance, (you have a CHOICE). With this "affordable healthcare act" you don't have a choice – you must purchase it or you are fined......get it?

      June 28, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      no, but owning a car is optional... further more, you only need to have car insurance if you drive on public roads (regulated by the government)... you can own a car and drive it on your own property without insurance (though you won't get far lol) but you still have the option to walk, take public transportation, or ride a bike... Life is not optional, but how we choose to maintain ourselves is. Believe it or not, some people do just fine without seeing a doctor and living smart... that's freedom. Being forced to purchase something you've never needed to use a service you don't want is tyranny, plain and simple.

      June 28, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
    • midlatidude

      No, but cars get into accidents. Most people's health is trusted before driving skill.

      June 28, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Charlie

      Because owning a car is a privilege, and you need ins in order to protect other drivers on the road in the event of your mistake.

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

      @ the person stating that you have to have car insurance, so you have to have health insurance. Not so, there are many people that do not have cars and do not drive, so they don 't need car insurance. Your arguement is weak.

      June 28, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • whitebirdusmc

      Actually this is a reply to Al.

      To follow your logic, if one does not want to pay for health care insurance (car insurance) then you should not use the health care system (don't own a car). Since people are GOING to use the health care system (ie showing up in the emergency room for a cold), why shouldn't they contribute to it?

      I was a single Mom and still managed to keep my child covered with insurance so don't tell me it cannot be done.

      June 28, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Matthew

      The requirement for car insurance is a state law, not a Federal one.

      June 28, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • huff

      Mandatory car insurance is for coverage to OTHER people, not yourself and is required for the PRIVILEGE of driving a car. Also its passed by voters on the state level, not mandated by the federal Gov. So you are saying we need insurance for the privilege of living?

      June 28, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Davin

      Great point you seem like a very rational person, these ppl that oppose it do not know anything about the law except from what they here on Fox News.

      June 28, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Richelle

      This is a sad day for America. Just wait, after a couple of years all these people that were for Obamacare will be complaining that it's not working and something needs to be done. Wait and watch were this country is headed.

      June 28, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • InformedAmerican

      Driving a car is a Choice. You can choose to either drive or not drive. There is no such option in healthcare. You are taxed/penalized for simply being born. Huge difference.

      June 28, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • bigdoglv

      Maybe because you don't have to drive, but you have to live.

      June 28, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. CJE

    What's the difference between Obama Care and Romney Care? Romney Care is already active and in place.

    June 28, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
    • gobnait

      States rights. States have every right to experiment with what works for their residents. If something doesn't work out, the entire country is not damaged and it can more easily repealed or discontinued.

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

      Romneycare was passed by voters on a state level, not mandated by any government.

      June 28, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • youloze

      That's the million dollar question! There was no uproar in Mass. Yes everyone should have insurance! I'm tired of paying high premiums for those that don't..How can a insurance company deny someone with a pre-exisiting illness, no medical care is a sure death sentence?

      June 28, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  8. mark

    20% Chance 9-0 keep law as is 20 % Chance throw out mandate keep the rest of the law 20% Chance Throw total law out 10 % Chance 4 1/2 – 4 4-1/2 stale mate 🙂

    June 28, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  9. Dan

    I love to read comments from the paid bloggers that respond to these news stories, they are always strong on religious opinion and weak on solutions. I have never heard one of these people or the Church that they represent offer to step up and take care of the weak,sick or injured much less offer to raise a child to save it from abortion. When that starts to happen, then I think all your religious rhetoric will be justified and may even change the minds of people who think other than you.

    June 28, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Carl

      Many churches do everything you claimed you do not hear them do. They just do not publicize that fact. The church I attend runs a shelter, a retirement community for elderly who cannot afford to do so, gives to whoever is in need and asks and even built a charter school for less fortunate children to get a quality education. Be careful with blanket statements, everything you see portrayed in public is not what everyday people see. I'm at work and bored so I thought I would post something.

      June 28, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • CJE

      DAN: The real secret is that religious organizations aren't really organizations. They're businesses.

      June 28, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
    • boon398

      Dan those evil churches that you are bad mouthing help thousand if not millions of poor individuals every year including with their health care through various charities. Those evil rich and middle class people choose to give money to their local church who in turn uses the money to help the sick and poor.

      June 28, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      well said Dan!!

      June 28, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • gobnait

      So, in your mind government and people should be free to do as they choose with no consequences? If anyone dare object, it's his responsibility to fix the problem? How very liberal of you. If the Democrats really wished to reform health insurance, they would have approached that reform in a thoughtful, measured and judicious fashion in the spirit of cooperation and good will. Instead they employed political machinations and strong-arming to shove the bill through against the will of millions of Americans. It was a bold-faced move to amass power over us in the misbegotten and arrogant belief that they are more capable of managing our lives than we are.

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

      dan – you have obviously never stepped in my church. don't comment on things you know nothing about.

      June 28, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Attican

      Dan...I'm with you about the paid bloggers!!! who do these transparent zealots for hire think they're fooling???!!!

      June 28, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  10. Common Sense

    You are not required to purchase car is required only if you drive a car. You also do not have to declare your car insurance on your tax forms and pay a penalty if you cannot prove you have it. I pay a premium for "non-insured driver" that covers me if I get into an accident with someone who CHOOSES not to carry insurance on their car.

    June 28, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  11. Norm

    Just remember, Mitt Romney called the Republican created Mandate "the individual responsibility program which I proposed". So if SCOTUS overturns the Republican Mandate and personal responsibility, then I guess we'll have to go to single payer.

    Unless of course the Tea Party wants for-profit death panels killing everyone.

    June 28, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Rbnlegnd

      I can't decide if it was a brilliant move, or utter insanity, for the republicans to fight for the individual mandate over a single payer system. They got it in there, and have been using it as the keystone of their fight against the other parties success, and it may even work. Short term that will help out, but long term, I suspect the backlash will be pretty bad. No one will see their insurance premiums go down if health care reform is repealed, seniors will get the donut hole back, and many many people will lose coverage, and even though the republicans say they will re-fix each of those problems, I wouldn't bet a penny on them actually passing any re-fix legislation within a decade.

      June 28, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • gobnait

      Hyperbole is the last refuge of the uniformed and those who are out of ideas.

      June 28, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  12. Julnor

    At stake, your right to decide what is best for you.

    June 28, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Blake

      Couldn't have stated it more simply...and that's all there is to it.
      We are incapable of making our own decisions, so we have Obama for that..
      Lovely. Just lovely...thanks?

      June 28, 2012 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  13. mark

    About 90 %

    June 28, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  14. Common Sense

    There is a difference between a State approved health care system and a Federally mandated sytem....

    June 28, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  15. Walter

    I love verbal diarrhea like this. It just shows how bitter and out of touch the left really is. And also how violent they are. The definition of culled includes the phrase "reduce the population by selective slaughter." So, the snake wants those who don't agree with him killed.

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