On June 28th, 2012, in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court that the individual mandate portion of the health care reform law (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act), which requires that most Americans buy health insurance or pay a fine, is constitutional as a tax.
The Court agreed that while Congress could not use its power to regulate commerce between states to require individuals to buy health insurance, Congress could impose a tax penalty using its tax power for individuals who refuse to buy health insurance.
Because the mandate is constitutional, the Court did not need to determine whether other parts of the law were constitutional, according to the SCOTUS Blog.
The individual mandate was set to be implemented in 2014, however, many provisions of the health care reform law had already gone into effect in 2012. The ruling suggests that employers will still be responsible for the carrying out the provisions of the law which affect their organizations.
For more information about the Supreme Court decision, please visit the links below.
- How Will Supreme Court Rule on Health Care Law
- Supreme Court Rules on Obama Health Care Plan
- SCOTUS Blog
Source: SCOTUS Blog