KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Supreme Court Lets Most Of Health Law Stand

In a decision that surprised many observers, the high court allowed the measure's individual mandate to survive as a tax but set limits on the law's Medicaid expansion.  

Kaiser Health News: Justices Uphold Individual Mandate, Set Limits On Medicaid Expansion
The U.S. Supreme Court Thursday upheld nearly all of the landmark federal health law, affirming its mandate that most everyone carry insurance, but complicating the government’s plan to extend coverage to the poorest Americans. ... But a majority of the justices voted that the government could not compel states to expand Medicaid, the federal and state program for the poor, by threatening to withhold federal money to existing Medicaid programs (Rau and Appleby, 6/28). 

The New York Times: Supreme Court Lets Health Law Largely Stand, In Victory For Obama
The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld President Obama’s health care overhaul law, saying its requirement that most Americans obtain insurance or pay a penalty was authorized by Congress’s power to levy taxes. The vote was 5 to 4, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joining the court’s four more liberal members (Liptak, 6/28).

The Wall Street Journal: Court Backs Obama On Health Law
The ruling clears the way for the biggest revamp of America's health-care system since the 1960s—and sets the stage for a renewed political fight over its merits. By a 5-4 vote, the court held the law's mandate requiring Americans to carry health insurance or pay a penalty valid under Congress's constitutional authority to levy taxes. The financial penalty for failing to carry insurance possesses "the essential feature of any tax," producing revenue for the government, Chief Justice Roberts wrote (Bravin and Radnofsky, 6/29).

Los Angeles Times: Supreme Court Upholds Obama's Healthcare Law
Led by a chief justice who some conservatives immediately branded a turncoat, the Supreme Court upheld most of President Obama's healthcare law Thursday, resolving a high-stakes constitutional clash not seen in decades and handing Obama a victory that surprised many in Washington (Savage, 6/29).

The Washington Post: Supreme Court Upholds Obama's Health-Care Law
The court’s 5 to 4 ruling was a stunning legal conclusion to a battle that has consumed American politics for two years. Roberts’s compromise offered a dramatic victory for Obama and Democrats' decades-long effort to enact a health-care law and a bitter defeat for Republicans and tea party activists, who had uniformly opposed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Barnes, 6/28).

Bloomberg: Obama's Health-Care Overhaul Upheld by U.S. Supreme Court
The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the core of President Barack Obama's health-care overhaul in an opinion that held two surprises: Chief Justice John Roberts was the deciding vote, and his legal reasoning was unanticipated. The 5-4 ruling yesterday gave Obama an election-year triumph by declaring that Congress had the power to make Americans obtain insurance or pay a penalty. That requirement is at the center of the measure and of a political debate over the appropriate role of government in health care that showed no signs of abating with the court’s decision (Stohr, 6/29).

Kaiser Health News: Video: Making Sense Of The Supreme Court Ruling
This Kaiser Health News video webcast features KHN's Mary Agnes Carey, Stuart Taylor and Julie Appleby as well as SCOTUSblog's Tom Goldstein and Lyle Denniston as they discuss Thursday's landmark Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of the health law. 

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.