By: Michael Ojeda
This morning the Supreme Court concluded on whether the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) violates the constitution. The biggest issue was whether the individual mandate (All Americans are forced to buy healthcare or be fined as a consequence) would be found unconstitutional.
Congress had three different backup arguments for the act to pass the Supreme Court’s scrutiny. The first defense was under the commerce clause in the constitution. The second was the necessary and proper clause. The first two arguments were rejected, although congress got it to pass using the argument to turn the penalty into a tax. Americans would have a choice; either enroll in health insurance or pay a extra tax as a result. Since the mandate was deemed constitutional, the rest of the act will remain intact and not be scrutinized by the Supreme Court.
The only other provision that was looked into by the Supreme Court was the mandate stating that a state’s Medicaid funds could be terminated if they do not comply with specified healthcare updates. The argument for this mandate was that it is constitutional for congress to ask states to comply with conditions in order to receive extra funding, although it has been deemed unconstitutional for congress to penalize states for not participating in the new conditions and take away their current funding.
There you have it folks Americans must buy healthcare or pay a tax instead, and Congress can give states extra funding or deny it, but they can’t take away a states existing funding.