In a 5-4 decision on Thursday, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the individual mandate in President Barack Obama’s health care law is constitutional.
The mandate required individuals to purchase health care coverage or face fines beginning in 2014. Supporters had insisted that the mandate was essential for controlling health care costs, a key goal of the law.
Protesters began to gather outside the Supreme Court this morning, both for and against the Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law on March 23, 2010. Critics have said that the law is an unacceptable incursion of government into the rights of health care providers and citizens. Supporters maintain that the law will make the U.S. health care system more just and less predatory.
(This post will be updated as more information becomes available.)
UPDATE: In what many consider a surprise ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts has ruled in favor of the mandate, whereas Justice Kennedy sided with the minority. Liberal justices issued concurring opinions, which means they did not dissent in the decision, but neither did they wholeheartedly accept it.
Roberts wrote the majority opinion. Dissenting justices argued that the entire act is unconstitutional.