POSTED: Thursday, June 28, 2012 - 3:23pm
UPDATED: Thursday, June 28, 2012 - 5:40pm
A shocker of a ruling today from the Supreme Court.
The Affordable Health Care Act, known as ObamaCare, has essentially been upheld.
And even more surprising, the Justice who pushed it over the top.
The Chief Justice John Roberts siding with the more liberal wing of the Court, has voted to uphold the health care law.
And, if you’ll pardon the pun…the reactions have come fast and furious.
National health care has been a idea pushed by Democrats and Republicans since Roosevelt…Theodore Roosevelt.
Finally passed in 2010 after a solid year of contentious debate, the Affordable Health Care Act was passed on a party line vote.
And the challenges began almost immediately, ultimately leading to today’s decision.
In a 5-4 ruling, the Court left virtually all the law intact, including the controversial individual mandate, requiring everyone to buy insurance, either from the private sector or a more affordable government pool.
The plan was originated by the conservative Heritage Foundation as a private sector alternative to the Clinton health care initiative. It is similar to the Massachusetts law passed under Governor Mitt Romney.
Congressman Louis Gohmert’s reaction was one of resolve.
We spoke with Attorney General Greg Abbott today. He was one of the 26 AG’s who brought suit against the law.
“When the Chief Justice pivoted and began to say this is a valid tax, it was a shocker because no court before now had ever upheld this as a tax, because even the Congress itself and even the President himself, said this was not a tax,” Abbott told us.
The court did say the original premise of the mandate, that it fell under the commerce clause of the Constitution, was wrong. They discounted that, but said it was legal under the taxing power, much like the Medicare tax.
The only other change is that states were to lose all their Medicaid funding if they didn’t comply with new program standards. Now, they can only lose a portion of it.
“We were surprised also that we won on that claim,” Abbott said. “It’s a claim that now gives the state of Texas more flexibility and so that is some solace in an otherwise very tough decision.”
Obviously, this is not the end of the issue.
It will add new fire to the Presidential debates, and Governor Romney has vowed that if elected, he will undo the law, no matter how today’s ruling went.