The Supreme Court largely upheld President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, with Chief Justice John Roberts casting the deciding vote in the 5-4 split on the individual mandate. In his majority opinion, Roberts declared the controversial individual mandate is a tax, and thus constitutional. The court did find that states could opt out of a federally mandated expansion of Medicaid without losing federal funding. Even with this caveat, the administration can move forward with implementing the healthcare law, many aspects of which are set to go into effect in 2014.
Obama's healthcare plan has been at the center of the national political debate since before its passage, and has been a major part of the 2012 presidential campaign. Republican presumptive nominee Mitt Romney has vowed to repeal the law, even though when he was governor of Massachusetts he supported a similar individual mandate.
The ruling has spurred Republicans to continue their fight to repeal the law, and have scheduled another vote to do so. "Obamacare" as it has come to be known, is opposed by more Americans than those who support it, and the GOP is hoping that the ruling will drive the law's critics to the polls come November, eager to elect a president and Congress who will repeal it. However, Obama supporters say that the decision is a political win for the president, and that support for the law will grow now that it has been declared constitutional. Does the Supreme Court's healthcare ruling help Obama? Here is the Debate Club's take:
Ford O'Connell Republican Strategist, Conservative Activist, and Political Analyst
Stephanie Slade Project Director at The Winston Group
Jamie Chandler Political Scientist at Hunter College
Lara Brown Author of 'Jockeying for the American Presidency: The Political Opportunism of Aspirants'
Michael Marshall Communications Director to former Sen. Bob Dole
Peter Fenn Democratic Political Strategist