U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. -Videos of where America has recently been

As the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday, June 28, 2012 handed down its ruling on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s 2010 healthcare overhaul, let us remember where we have been.


U.S. Supreme Court upholds health care law with a 5-4 decision


“In Plain English: The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional. There were not five votes to uphold it on the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the states to require everyone to buy health insurance. However, five Justices agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power. That is all that matters.

“Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding. On that question, the Court held that the provision is constitutional as long as states would only lose new funds if they didn’t comply with the new requirements, rather than all of their funding.”


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.”

People with pre-existing conditions remains in place. Starting in 2014, the law makes it illegal for any health insurance plan to use pre-existing conditions to exclude, limit or set unrealistic rates on coverage.

Young adults up to age 26 who have gained health insurance due to the law will be able to keep it. About 2.5 million young adults from age 19 to 25 obtained health coverage as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

Chief Justice John Roberts joined the liberal members of the court to uphold the individual mandate in a 5-4 vote.

The court said the individual tax would survive as a tax but had a limited reading of the Medicaid provision.

Vote to uphold

John Roberts (Chief Justice)- George W.George W. Bush (Republican)
Ruth Bader Ginsburg– Bill Clinton (Democrat)
Stephen Breyer– Bill Clinton (Democrat)
Sonia Sotomayor– Barack Obama (Democrat)
Elena Kagan– Barack Obama (Democrat)

Vote to strike down

Antonin Scalia– Ronald Reagan (Republican)
Anthony Kennedy– Ronald Reagan (Republican)
Clarence Thomas– George H. W. Bush (Republican)
Samuel Alito– George W. Bush  (Republican)


Video: President John F. Kennedy argues for universal healthcare -1962


Video: National health insurance plan proposed by President Richard Nixon (Republican) and Senator Ted Kennedy (Democrat)- 1971 and 1974


Video: President Jimmy Carter debating with Ronald Reagan about national health insurance- October 28, 1980


Video: President Bill Clinton – Address on Health Care Reform-September 22, 1993


Video: President George W. Bush on health care


Video: Governor Mitt Romney speaking about the Massachusetts health care insurance reform law he signed with Senator Ted Kennedy (Democrat) -2006


Video: President Barack Obama signs health care bill


Video: President Obama states that the health care law is not a tax

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