POLL: Do You Agree With the Supreme Court's Decision to Uphold the Health Care Act?
The health care reform bill–dubbed "Obamacare" by opponents–was signed into law in March 2010 and has been under scrutiny by many–including 26 states that filed a lawsuit against it.
The most controversial clause of the Affordable Care Act has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, the court announced Thursday.
The group of bills aimed at overhauling the American health care system was signed into law by President Barack Obama in March 2010. Since then, 26 states filed suit against the act, stating that provisions in it required most uninsured Americans to purchase health insurance were unconstitutional.
According to the Washington Post, the Supreme Court agreed that the mandate itself is unconstitutional, but that it is within the rights of Congress to tax individuals for not having health care. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion.
The ruling also upheld a portion of the bill that asks states to expand their Medicaid coverage, but said that the federal government cannot without Medicaid funding for states that choose not to comply.
Congressman John Dingell of Michigan, an ardent supporter of the act, applauded the ruling.
“We have a long-term effective solution to the health care crisis in this country," Dingell said in a statement. "And, now, I am proud to say that with the agreement of the Supreme Court, we can continue on with the business of making sure Americans have access to the best medicines, hospitals and medical professionals in the world.
"I know my father who started this fight is smiling from up above.”
U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, who represents Wayne County's 11th Congressional district, including Plymouth and Canton, was less enthusiastic.
"This errant decision is the bitter fruit of an inverted jurisprudence that no longer inquires what the government can do, but what the government can't do," McCotter said in an email statement. "Fortunately, this fall the Supreme Court's error can and will be reversed by the ultimate power in America - her sovereign citizens."
State Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R-Canton) also maligned the Supreme Court ruling in an email statement.
"Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court is disappointing," he wrote. "It is an unfortunate decision for Michigan’s middle class families; they are the ones who are going to be forced to spend more of their money for worse health care. By affirming the individual mandate, the free market principles this country was founded on were abandoned in favor of socialist ideas."
Tom Stroup, Chairman of the 11th Congressional District Republican Committee, said in an email to Patch he was disappointed in the decision.
"I plan to read both the majority opinion and the minority opinion in the next few days," Stroup wrote. "I want to learn more about the thinking of the justices on both sides of this ruling. At this point I can not put into words how disappointed I am in Chief Justice John Roberts."
Stroup said in his email that he believes Republican candidate Mitt Romney will repeal the law if he wins in November.
"On Day One, Mitt Romney will repeal ObamaCare and replace it," Stroup wrote. "Obamacare was bad policy yesterday and remains bad policy today."
Oakwood Healthcare, which operates a Canton location, has maintained that the looming health care changes will not affect their methods of providing patient care.
"We’ve been developing and adopting the best methods for providing improved quality, greater value and compassionate care for several years now," said Oakwood President and CEO Brian Connolly in a statement. "We plan to move forward with those initiatives regardless of today’s decision not only because it’s who we are as a healthcare provider, but because it’s the right thing to do."
In an email statement, the Plymouth Democratic Club lauded the decision as a victory for the Obama administration.
"We welcome the decision today by the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold The Affordable Care Act," the email read. "Congratulations to all who have worked so very hard on Obamacare, we look forward to the full implementation in 2014, so all Americans can receive the health care coverage we deserve."
Do you agree with the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act? Vote in our poll and tell us why you agree or disagree in the comments.