In a 5–4 decision, the Supreme Court today voted to uphold “Obamacare,” a set of laws concerning Americans’ access to healthcare.[1]

(The actual name is the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”)

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion, citing Congress’s power to tax as being legal ground to uphold the laws.

By upholding PPACA, the Supreme Court has allowed the federal government to enforce things like protection for children with preexisting conditions, the patient’s bill of rights and more.

Most friction surrounding PPACA has to do with the “individual mandate.” This section of the Act requires (starting in 2014) that most people “be enrolled in a health insurance plan that meets basic minimum standards.” Those who do not will be required to pay a tax. However, the government also says:

You won’t have to pay an assessment if you have very low income and coverage is unaffordable to you, or for other reasons including your religious beliefs. You can also apply for a waiver asking not to pay an assessment if you don’t qualify automatically.

While time will tell how easy it is to get a waiver, I understand that this makes some people upset.

There are lots of other provisions in the law, of course, and they can be reviewed here.

You can read the entire document on the Supreme Court’s website..

It’s a good day for America.

  1. As a sidebar, CNN screwed up big time covering the story. The race to be first can be rough.  ↩