We at JAC are elated and relieved at the Court's decision. This ruling affirms the benefits that this legislation has provided, especially to women. It provides access to expanded preventive services such as mammograms and PAP smears. It means young adults will be able to remain on their parents' insurance plans. It protects those with pre-existing conditions from being refused insurance. It provides access to insurance coverage for millions of previously uninsured or uninsurable Americans. It is a victory for all Americans. This is a victory for women. The ACA is the most pro-women law in recent history.
The Supreme Court largely upheld President Obama's health care law, the Affordable Care Act. Chief Justice John G. Roberts joined the majority in affirming the central legislative accomplishment of Mr. Obama's presidency. He ruled that the key provision in question, the so-called individual mandate requiring all Americans to buy insurance or pay a fine, failed to pass constitutional muster under the Commerce Clause, which was the heart of the administration's arguments in favor of it. But the Chief Justice declared that the fine amounted to a tax that the government had the power to impose, and that the mandate could survive on that basis. Upholding the mandate meant that the rest of the act was judged constitutional as well.
But we must point out that the ruling was 5-4, with Chief Justice Roberts siding with the majority, which was a surprise, and Justice Anthony Kennedy ruling with the minority. The ruling is a stark reminder how much elections matter. The justices on the Supreme Court are nominated by the President and they serve for life. The Senate Judiciary Committee holds hearings to approve the President's nominees. Senate Committee chairs are determined by the majority party.
Mitt Romney, Republican candidate for President, has already gone on record to say that if the Court doesn't overturn Obamacare, as President he would repeal it "on day one."
It is crucial to maintain the current committee structure in the Senate by working to elect JAC candidates who will uphold our interests. It will also be crucial to work for the Presidential candidate who will choose the next Supreme Court justices.
For information on provisions of the Affordable Health Care Act:
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