Justices rule that the individual mandate will stand.
The long awaited decision of the Supreme Court about the health care reform law put into place by President Obama in 2010, and the majority of the provisions have been upheld.
Among the 5 major provisions of the Affordable Care Act, 4 have been upheld.
The center of this debate, and the main focus of most of those awaiting the top court’s decision, was regarding the individual mandate, which would require almost all Americans to purchase medical insurance. This was upheld by the justices, by a vote of 5 to 4. It was maintained on the grounds that the requirement to buy coverage or pay a fine was constitutional as it could be considered a tax.
Also left to stand was the ruling regarding the regulation that stated that insurance companies are not allowed to discriminate against individuals who have pre-existing conditions. This means that insurers will not be allowed to refuse to cover individuals who are already sick or injured, and cannot charge them excessive premiums due to their conditions.
The provision that stated that there would be no lifetime limits on coverage was also kept in place, meaning that insurers will no longer be able to put caps on coverage for a person’s lifetime. This will notably expand the coverage available to individuals who contract major diseases such as heart conditions, cancers, and others that can last over the long term.
Children will also be able to remain covered on their parents’ plans until the age of 26, as this provision of the health care reform has also been upheld by the Supreme Court. This coverage will continue regardless of whether the youth remain full time students or even if they still reside with their parents.
The one major provision of the health care reform that was not upheld was that regarding Medicaid.
Though the law would have had Medicaid expanded to cover more of the poor, this was struck down by the Supreme Court in its historical ruling.
This highly controversial decision has been an apparent victory for President Obama and those who are in favor of the health care reform law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.