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Plain English Explanation Of U.S. Supreme Court Affordable Care Act Decision

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UCR Today

If you're on twitter or have access to any other form of media, you are no doubt hearing all sorts of drips and drabs about today's U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act.

But plain English explanations of just what the decision are hard to come by. We found this on the SCOTUS blog.

 

From Amy Howe, of SCOTUS blog:

The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional. There were not five votes to uphold it on the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the states to require everyone to buy health insurance. However, five Justices agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power. That is all that matters. Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding. On that question, the Court held that the provision is constitutional as long as states would only lose new funds if they didn't comply with the new requirements, rather than all of their funding.  

Florida lead the charge in legal battles against the healthcare law, arguing that the individual mandate was a violation of the Commerce Clause. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is reportedly "shocked and surprised" by the decision.