WASHINGTON—In a 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court today upheld President Barack Obama's controversial healthcare law.
This ruling, which is the most anticipated Supreme Court decision in years, allows the government to continue implementing the healthcare law. The full extent of the law won't take effect until 2014.
Perhaps the most controversial part of the healthcare legislation is the mandate that requires people to have health insurance, or face a financial penalty of up to several thousand dollars per year. The court decided that this individual mandate is valid as a tax. Such taxing is permissible, the court expressed in the majority opinion.
"...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 health insurance," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote. "Such legislation is within Congress's power to tax."
The following more popular provisions of the healthcare law will remain:
• If a patient has a pre-existing condition, they can get health insurance. Before "Obamacare," as it's sometimes called, insurance companies could deny coverage to people who had pre-existing conditions. This sometimes equated to people who needed insurance the most not being able to get it.
• People can remain on their parents' health insurance plan until age 26
• Medicare patients can get free mammograms
• Insurance companies can't deny coverage to people who are sick or who make a mistake on their insurance application.
To read the full court decision click here.