BRENT KENDALL, LOUISE RADNOFSKY and JESS BRAVIN
June 28, 2012
A divided Supreme Court largely upheld the Obama administration’s health-care law, saying the law’s penalty for those who ignore a mandate to carry health insurance counted as a tax and was justified by Congress’s constitutional taxing power.
The court did find one part of the law unconstitutional, saying its expansion of the federal-state Medicaid program threatened states’ existing funding. The court ruled that the federal government can’t put sanctions on states’ existing Medicaid funding if the states decline to go along with the Medicaid expansion.
The ruling on the insurance mandate question was 5-4. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the opinion, joined by the court’s four liberal justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented on the mandate question.